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The Benefits of Eating Orange-Colored Vegetables

"The color of a particular type of fruit or vegetable can be a helpful guide on how nutritious a certain type of food really is. "
By: Gwen Y. Reyes-Amurao, M.D.The Benefits of Eating Orange-Colored Vegetables

In an article written in Today’s Dietitian, yellow or orange-colored food represent the abundance of vitamin C and beta-cryptoxanthin, and are very rich in beta-carotene, all of which are particularly good antioxidants. Beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene are all carotenoids that can be converted in the body to Vitamin A. As we all know, vitamin A is needed not only for good vision, but also for proper immune function, and in maintaining skin and bone health.

Vitamin C on the other hand, is a very powerful antioxidant that helps boost the immune system, and promotes cell regeneration and wound healing. Because both vitamin A and C help get rid of free radicals that damage healthy cells in our body, studies show that they can actually prevent cancer if included regularly in the diet.

Aside from those mentioned above, these bright-colored food also contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene and are very rich in potassium. And one vegetable that contains all these important nutrients is the tomato. Packed with antioxidants, this vegetable helps prevent a number of diseases like cancer. Also rich in phytonutrients, this helps keep the heart healthy, and has been found to also lower bad cholesterol levels naturally. Below is a complete list of health benefits one can get from your orange-colored fruits and veggies.

Eye Health

According to studies conducted by Harvard Health, dietary antioxidant vitamins and minerals help prevent progression of macular degeneration. This condition is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in those aged 65 and older. 

Bone Health

Through the years, calcium and magnesium were the most common minerals associated with bone health. Interestingly, the antioxidants found in these orange-colored fruits and veggies have been associated with decreased incidence of hip and non-vertebral osteoporotic fractures, suggesting it helps prevent bone resorption.

Cardiovascular Health

Not only do Vitamins A and C prevent damage to blood vessels, they also have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent narrowing of important arteries and veins. Together with lycopene, these vitamins help decrease total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and even triglycerides.  Phytonutrients found in these vegetables have also been studied and associated with decreased blood clots linked to platelet formation, which also helps optimize cardiovascular health.

Skin Health

Vitamin C is most commonly associated with keeping skin healthy and looking young. This is because of its ability to limit damage induced by ultraviolet light exposure. Because vitamin C also regulates synthesis of collagen necessary for elasticity of one’s skin, having a diet high in vitamin C helps repair damaged skin associated with sunlight exposure and helps repair cells that are affected by aging.

Cancer Prevention

Vegetables are generally rich in antioxidants that help prevent all types of cancer. When it comes to orange-colored ones, studies have proven its ability to prevent specific forms of cancer like that of the prostate, lung (non-small cell), breast and even that of the pancreas.

Immunity Booster

According to the National Institute of Health, an adequate amount of antioxidants in the diet are important in order to prevent damage to the immune cells themselves. Because these can easily be taken from one’s diet, daily intake of these phytonutrients has been associated with decreased incidence of cancer mainly because of their immune boosting properties that they have. In a study conducted by the Nutrition Society of the United States, the antioxidants found in orange-colored fruits and veggies displayed preventive properties in the development of degenerative disorders especially in the elderly.

If we get our daily dose of these orange-colored fruits and vegetables, then we can be sure that we have enough nutrients to fight off whatever type of disease, whether it be as simple as your common cold or as chronic a condition such as cancer. Remember, we are what we eat, so eat healthy.

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