Healthy reasons to eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables

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Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are usually colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists have also reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function. One study found that people who ate a diet high in carotenoid-rich vegetables were 43 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, an eye disorder common among the elderly, which can lead to blindness.

Carotenoids also may be good for your heart. One study found that men with high cholesterol who ate plenty of vegetables high in carotenoids had a 36 percent lower chance of heart attack and death than their counterparts who shunned vegetables. Citrus fruits like oranges are not a good source of vitamin A. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects. Some examples of the orange/yellow group include: Yellow apples • Peaches ,Apricots • Pears, Butternut squash • Yellow peppers, Cantaloupe • Persimmons, Carrots • Pineapple, Grapefruit ,Pumpkin, Lemons • Rutabagas, Mangoes • Yellow summer or winter, Nectarines squash, Oranges • Sweet corn, Papayas • Sweet potatoes, Tangerines, Yellow tomatoes,Yellow watermelon

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