Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, Vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, fiber, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Although we first think of pumpkins and squash in the fall and oranges in the summer, these foods are best consumed all year long. Many orange and yellow foods obtain their color from the antioxidant, beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in our bodies. Here are five benefits of eating orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and the best ones to eat.
Orange and yellow foods benefit us by:
Promoting eye health and reducing the risk of macular degeneration.
Two particular carotenoids found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, zeaxanthin and lutein, reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Studies have shown a 43 percent decreased risk of macular degeneration and protection for the tissues in the retina when a diet contains these carotenoids. They also protect overall eye health and night vision along with wearing protective sunglasses.
Boosting the immune system.
I’ll never forget when I had an important speaking engagement and I started to get a cold. A good friend recommended that I take a supplement high in carotenoids. I was amazed that within a few days, my symptoms subsided, and I was able to speak without issues. Orange and yellow foods contain a high amount of vitamin C and multiple carotenoids. At that time, I was not eating many fruits and vegetables. To maintain a healthy immune system, I now eat 10-13 fruits and vegetables daily. I also eat these colors every day. I start each day with fresh lemon and include a banana in my daily smoothie.
Reducing the risk of heart disease.
These foods are heart-healthy. The potassium provided helps to lower blood pressure. Yellow herbs such as ginger help in reducing bad cholesterol levels. Oranges contain substances called phytosterols which help block cholesterol from being absorbed by the cells in the intestines. Berberine, which is a yellow plant chemical found in the roots of some plants such as goldenseal and barberry, also helps to lower cholesterol. I use these plant supplements (herbs) to lower my cholesterol as opposed to using statins. In addition, studies show that consuming flavonoid-rich citrus fruits can reduce your risk of strokes.
Strengthening healthy bones, teeth, and joints.
The high concentration of vitamin C along with calcium and magnesium helps your body to build healthier bones and teeth. Vitamin C also helps reduce joint pain by decreasing inflammation and lubricating the joints. This prevents osteoarthritis and reduces joint pain.
Protecting the nervous system.
Orange and yellow foods can protect your brain as you age. I can’t think of anything better to protect. A study published in Neurology found that men and women who consumed orange and yellow foods rich in flavonoids such as bell peppers, bananas, and grapefruit had a 38 percent lower risk of cognitive decline. Why? Phytonutrients such as flavonoids are anti-inflammatory and they protect your cells from oxidative damage which can lead to cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.
Here are some of the healthiest orange and yellow foods to eat:
Orange and Yellow Peppers
It was my eye doctor, Dr. Henry Jenkins, who advised me to increase my intake of the phytonutrients contained in these orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. My naturopathic doctor recommended both ginger and berberine which come from yellow chemicals in plant foods. Both recommendations worked. With the benefits of promoting eye health, protecting your heart and brain, and strengthening your teeth, bones, and joints while boosting your immune system, these foods are gems we all need. These benefits should encourage all of us to include orange and yellow fruits and vegetables in our weekly diet.
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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.