How Colorful Are Your Veggies?

Cash Broccoli 2

We are huge veggie fans around here! No surprise, right?! We love veggies because they’re super nutritious, very calorie friendly, and yummy!

I’m often asked which ones are the healthiest, and the answer to this question is very simple—all of them, but for different reasons. While veggies have so many health benefits, especially where cancer and heart disease prevention are concerned, the clue to the nutritional benefits of each veggie is found in the color of its skin (this info applies to fruits too!):

Red: Can help limit tumor growth and reduce the risk of cell damage.

Examples:

Orange/yellow: Can help your immune system function properly and reduce the risk of vision problems and birth defects, as well as help keep your joints and bones healthy.

Examples:

  • Butternut, summer, and winter squash
  • Yellow peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Yellow tomatoes
  • Rutabagas
  • Carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, yams (Smart Carbs)

Cash Broccoli 1

Green: Help keep your eyes healthy and reduce birth defect risks, and also keep your digestive system running smoothly.

Examples:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • All varieties of lettuce
  • Peas (Smart Carbs)
  • Snow peas
  • Green onions
  • Celery
  • Okra
  • Green peppers
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini

Purple/blue: May help reduce the risk of stroke, keep your immune and digestion systems healthy, as well as protect your cells.

Example (there are so many fruits that fall into this category!):

  • Eggplant

White: Help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and help keep hormone levels constant. (Love that last one! ;-) ).

Examples:

  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Jicama, potatoes, parsnips (Smart Carbs)
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Turnips

To get all of the benefits from these nutritional powerhouses, make sure your daily diet is as “colorful” as possible, and the darker the color the better. And since a lot of the nutrients are found in the skin and the layer right beneath it, don’t skip the skin when possible!

For even more veggie-choosing ideas, sign up for Chris’ free enewsletter and receive a free copy of our Smart Foods List!

Which colorful combination of veggies will you choose today? The possibilities are pretty much endless! :-)

Cash Broccoli 3


11 Comments

  1. Patty Crow - September 16, 2014

    I find it very easy to feed my grandsons veggies! They love savory spices just like we do. I think one mistake people make is the old belief that kids don’t like flavor filled herbs and spices. Add some garlic, salt and pepper, cilantro, parsley, Montreal’s steak seasoning, olive oil, sesame oil, vinegars of any type. You like flavor and so do they.
    Our kids and now grandkids eat what we eat. There is no special meals made for anyone.

    Now if I could get my son in law to eat his veggies like his son does, well………

    Herbs and spices contain very few calories and are soooooo good for you!

  2. Tina Francis - May 29, 2014

    Heidi, how did/do you get Cash to eat his fruits and veggies? My son is 16 months old and will only eat bananas, strawberries (sometimes) and potatoes. I regularly try to get him to eat/try other fruits and veggies but he just spits them out. Any ideas/tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    • Robin - September 16, 2014

      I hope YOU love your veggies! Kids learn from our behavior, much more than our words. My kids (now grown) have always been veggie eaters: I made a point of treating veggies the way other people might treat ice cream, ie. When you finish your homework you can have a nice, juicy carrot! Why not? Carrots (etc) are yummy and kids know it UNTIL the understand otherwise.
      I was asked once by an overly nervous mom about how to get her daughter (4 year old) to all those “good for you” veggies she tried to convince her to eat. I told her to tell the girl that she was too young for them, she could have them when she was bigger. (the reason many of us started drinking coffee!) It took TWO DAYS before her daughter was BEGGING to be allowed to eat veggies like older people!

  3. Shannon Castille - April 23, 2014

    Wow, this post is wonderful! Huge fan & love it all! Have you ever heard of JuicePlus!? Even though I try my best to get a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, I love knowing that I get the nutrients from 25 different RAW fruits and veggies (ALL COLORS) every day!!! They even have chewables for kids and have been proven to increase kids appetites for REAL produce! Wanted to share with you and hope you can check it out, especially all the awesome clinical research and the children’s health study :) http://www.shannoncastille.juiceplus.com

  4. Lori - April 10, 2014

    Cash is so adorbs. Just can’t get enough of him or you n Chris either . Thank you both for all you do for al of us

  5. Liba - April 10, 2014

    Thanks for sharing!! I love all veggies but my husband hates them! I tried so many diff ways and ideas to help him realize that its delicious and healthy but he will not hear it.. any tips?
    Oh and is Cashy eating his Broccoli with ketchup and mustard? ;)

  6. Jessica salgado - April 9, 2014

    Love that you shared the meaning of the colors.. will definitely print and post it in my kitchen.

    My daily personal goal is to have 3-5 different colors in every meal.

  7. Sharlotte - April 9, 2014

    How the heck do you get cash to eat his veggies?!? My 2 year old fights me 1/2 the time. I can usually disguise them with some cheese but sometimes it’s so hard and I want to make sure she is getting a good variety instead if just the same old stuff. What’s your secret!?!?! lol

    • Patty Crow - September 16, 2014

      You can hide veggies in your meals easily. My son in law hates onions, so my daughter pulverizes them before adding them to spaghetti. I grate zucchini in to my spaghetti to get it in there. You can finely chop any food to get them to eat it.
      Make meatloaf muffins chopped full of great veggies and your kids will beg you to make it.
      Meat Loaf Muffins
      1 lb ground turkey
      1/2 lb ground breakfast sausage (I get it at Whole Foods)
      10 finely chopped mushrooms
      10 grated baby carrots
      1/2 finely chopped onion
      2 grated zucchini
      3 tablespoons chia seeds (ground up) slowly mixed with 12 tablespoons of water (to substitute for eggs)
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon pepper
      1 teaspoon of garlic

      prior to making the muffins roast 6 roma tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half, sprinkle olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and garlic on them. Roast for 1-1/2 hours at 350.
      Let tomatoes cool. Place them in a food processor and add a little balsamic vinegar to taste.
      This creates an alternative to barbeque sauce for the muffins.

      Take the above meat mixture and place in olive oil greased (LIGHTLY) muffin tins. DO NOT use muffin papers!
      Bake at 325* for 25-35 minutes. I have a gas oven so they bake evenly and nicely.

      Remove from oven and let sit for about 5-10 minutes so they don’t fall apart when you take them out.

      Top with the sauce and you’ve got a super healthy meal that your kids will beg you to make again!

      This is an awesome meal to make for lunches too! They travel well in my husbands lunch bag!

  8. Amanda Spahr - April 9, 2014

    Thank you for sharing. I like the hormone leveling ones the most. Although, never tried Jicama. I’m going to look for it and try it.

  9. Destiny - April 9, 2014

    Seriously he is too cute eating his veggies! Is this a meal for him? Thinking about starting to make at least 1 full meal a meal of veggies everyday.. like a plate of broccoli for everyone for lunch or something, and at least 1 fruit with breakfast (if not a fruit) and I always do at least 1 serving of fruit with lunch, and 1 serving of veggies with dinner…

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