By Jaclyn Forrester, Founder of Spark Plug Fitness
Phytonutrients are important because of their hunting skills. They hunt down free radicals, preventing them from damaging our cells and creating diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
While eating an apple a day or fixing a salad a day is a great habit, it is important to note the benefits of eating a variety of fruits and veggies. Think about your plate as a rainbow. As you begin your grocery shopping start in the produce section and try to include yellow, orange, green, red, white and blue.
Each color signifies different phytonutrients.
Let’s start with the yellow and orange color. Carrots are filled with beta-carotene. Carotene is an antioxidant that our bodies can convert to vitamin A. Vitamin A supports the immune system, reproductive system and improves bone health.
Green leafy veggies contain fiber. Fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. It also improves the function of our digestive system.
Red fruits and veggies such as tomatoes and red peppers contain lycopene known for reducing the risk of heart attach and the risk of cancer; most notably prostate cancer.
Mushrooms and other white veggies are always noted but they are important. Mushrooms contain high quality protein with loads of vitamins helping to improve cardiovascular and digestive function.
Blue and purple fruits and veggies contain manganese and vitamins C, B1, B6 and potassium. They help to reduce platelet clumping and protecting bad cholesterol from free radical damage that initiates its artery-damaging actions.
Further proof that eating a wide variety of colors, types and cooking styles in your diet is extremely beneficial to your health.
- Jaclyn Forrester is the founder of Spark Plug Fitness. Spark Plug Fitness is all about providing a great customer experience through hands on wellness programs. These programs include health screenings, group fitness training, nutrition counseling, daily food journals, stress management sessions, on-line workout videos and health coaching. We strongly believe in helping organizations increase productivity, innovation, and motivation while decreasing absenteeism, stress and health care costs.