Bright Colorful Foods
Warm weather has arrived and it’s prime time for the delicious colorful foods of summer: sweet berries, succulent plums, apricots, peaches, and nectarines; deep red Bing and bright yellow Rainier cherries; flavorful red and black grapes; all sorts of melons; and fresh tomatoes. Don’t forget the wonderful veggies: sweet yellow or red onions, pungent garlic, dark leafy greens and lettuces, zucchini and squash, bright colorful peppers, and fresh herbs galore. Just reading this makes you want to run out and find the first farmer’s market, doesn’t it?!
All of these wonderful colorful foods due to the fact that they contain plant pigments known as flavonoids. There are several types of flavonoids, and different foods vary in the types of each they contain. Because of the high content of flavonoids in fruit- and vegetable- rich diets, scientists are investigating how they contribute to the promotion of health benefits associated with such diets.
Beneficial effects of flavonoids on human health are partly explained by their antioxidant activity. Because of the anti-oxidative property, it is suggested that flavonoids may delay or prevent the onset of diseases induced by free radicals. They also may inhibit low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation by free radicals. Furthermore, flavonoids may have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic effects.
Take advantage of the abundance of local produce this summer! Plant a garden or visit a farmer’s market and fill your plate with colorful foods including fruits and vegetables: They look wonderful, taste great, and they’re good for you!
by Sarah Tavakoli
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