Eat the Rainbow: Go Green for Your Bones, Eyes, and BloodAuthor: Diplomat Pharmacy Date: January 30, 2020
Green foods are “superfoods” — they’re low in calories, and the calories they do have are packed with nutrients. Foods that come from plants contain phytonutrients — chemicals that can help us in many different ways. Green foods can help you see better, strengthen your bones, and clear toxins from your body. Everyone should aim to eat two to three servings each day.
What are phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients are chemicals that help plants thrive and defend themselves against predators. Phytonutrients also have different health benefits according to their hue. It’s important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to give your body the phytonutrients it needs.
What phytonutrients are in green fruits and vegetables?
Green fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients called chlorophyll and lutein, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and K. They also contain B vitamins, most notably one called folate.
What health benefits do green fruits and vegetables have?
- They protect your eyes.
- Lutein, also known as “the eye vitamin,” acts as a light filter to protect the tissues in your eyes from sunlight damage. It reduces the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (loss of your central field of vision).
- They protect your bones.
- Vitamin K helps to support bone metabolism — the way your bones grow and repair themselves.
- Folate helps bone marrow produce white and red blood cells, which keeps your bones healthy.
- They help protect against cancer.
- Folate helps your DNA replicate and repair itself — lowering your cancer risk. High folate intake is associated with a 30–40% reduction in colon polyps and a reduction in heart disease.
- Chlorophyll increases the production of red blood cells and helps to transport oxygen through the blood. This helps to purify your blood and lower your risk of cancer.
- They support your immune system.
- Chlorophyll helps you absorb and digest nutrients. This boosts the action of your immune system and helps wounds heal faster.
- They help regulate your digestion.
- The insoluble fiber in green foods helps to prevent constipation and keeps you feeling full longer. It also helps increase insulin sensitivity, which might help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Green Recipes to Try
Nutrient-dense green foods give you “bang for your buck” with tremendous health benefits. These easy recipes will help you add more green foods into your diet in delicious ways.
More Ways to “Eat the Rainbow”
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