Brown and white fruits and vegetables don’t burst with vibrant colors, but they are rich in beta-glucans, potassium, fiber, lignans, and epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC). These plentiful micronutrients and phytonutrients are found not only in brown and white fruits and vegetables, but also in herbs, spices, and teas. Brown produce contains a large amount of anthoxanthins. Eating 1-2 servings daily is highly recommended.
Brown and white fruits and vegetables benefit us by:
Improving heart health.
The potassium found in brown and white fruits and vegetables such as bananas, mushrooms, potatoes, and dates is used to control the electrical activity of the heart and muscles. A high potassium intake promotes cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, lessening our risks for strokes, and decreasing cholesterol levels. The Cleveland Clinic recommends eating legumes such as dried beans and lentils in their heart-healthy diet along with a more Mediterranean Diet. Dr. Cho of the Cleveland Clinic also mentions flax seeds which contain lignans as a heart-healthy food. He recommends 2-3 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds daily.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable rich in an anticancer compound called sulforaphane. According to research, it’s a promising molecule for fighting cancer. The American Cancer Society began recommending cruciferous vegetables for breast cancer patients in the 1980s. Lignans also prevent cancer—especially estrogen-fed cancers. Nutrients like beta-glucans and ECGC activate B and T killer cells which reduce the risk of all cancers including prostate and colon cancers. WebMD points to the countless number of clinical trials that support the anticancer activity in beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are found in reishi and shiitake mushrooms as well as many whole grains such as oats and barley. Many studies have proven the cancer-fighting power of beta-glucans. Taking a Beta-glucan supplement was one of the first things my integrative doctor recommended when I was diagnosed with cancer. This cancer survivor never passes by a serving of mushrooms without grabbing at least a few, and I eat cruciferous vegetables daily!
According to WebMD, beta-glucans act as an immune system activator and cell response modifier. They also play an important role in promoting lymphocyte activity. Selenium, also found in mushrooms plays a key role in immune system support. Vitamin C is abundant in brown and white produce including onions and garlic from the allium family which also contain rich sources of sulfur compounds. For these reasons, when a recipe says to add a cup of onions and two cloves of garlic, I double both—especially when I sense my immune system is struggling.
Maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Consuming potatoes with skins, mushrooms, and fruits such as apples and pears helps to maintain a healthy digestive system by providing rich fiber that bulks up the stool helping it to pass through in a timely manner. The older I become, the more I realize that God never intended for us to eat processed foods. In Genesis 1:29, He clearly tells us that the foods He created for us to eat are plants! Our bodies thrive when we eat more plants!
According to WebMD, beta-glucans as found in mushrooms have anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects which have been proven in both animal-based and human-based clinical trials. Produce such as mushrooms make you feel full after eating. After the fiber is converted into short-chain fatty acids in the colon, appetite-regulating hormones such as peptide YY and ghrelin are released in the digestive tract. It’s amazing how eating more plants can help lower my A1C.
Here are some of the healthiest brown and white fruits and vegetables (including plants):
Don’t allow the lack of color to fool you. Brown and white produce, herbs, and spices have a powerful impact on our health. And who in this day does not need help lowering blood pressure and blood sugar, decreasing cholesterol, improving the function of our heart, preventing cancer, boosting our immune system to fight covid, viruses, and cases of flu, and maintaining a healthy digestive system? Am I the only one who needs all these benefits? What about you?
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Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.