The Healthy Guide to Eating by Color This Summer
Harness the health benefits of summer's bounty with this color-coded installment of our annual Summer Cookbook.
Lush and verdant, the peas, herbs, and peppers of summer offer glorious bursts of freshness and boost the nutrition of salads, soups, and drinks.
SUGAR SNAP PEAS
This gorgeous salad offers some key benefits: Sweet sugar snap peas provide lots of vitamin C, while fresh dill is purported to have anti-inflammatory properties.
OLIVES AND CUCUMBERS
Full of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, olives are also high in sodium so enjoy them in moderation. Besides being crisp and cool, cukes offer up lots of vitamin C.
Like all peppers, shishitos are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Capsaicin, found in spicy peppers, may promote better vascular health.
Aside from being quite low in calories, zucchini is an excellent source of vitamin C.
Bring on the tomatoes, the strawberries, the beets, these crimson beauties make for stunning dishes rich in lycopene, vitamin C, and folate.
Tomatoes are high in vitamins C and A and are a good source of potassium—a mineral that plays an important role in helping to mitigate the harmful effects of sodium on blood pressure. Red tomatoes also contain lycopene, an antioxidant linked to a lower risk of certain cancers. For increased absorption, cook the tomatoes.
High in vitamins A and C, summer's sweetest melon is also a good source of the antioxidant lycopene.
BELL PEPPERS AND FRESNO CHILES
Sweet red bell peppers are a particularly good source of vitamin C, containing three times as much as an orange. The heat of these chiles slightly boosts metabolism.
RADICCHIO AND BEETS
Radicchio is a good source of folate and an excellent source of vitamin K, which is necessary for blood to clot. Earthy beets are excellent sources of folate, a B-vitamin that may help prevent certain birth defects and decrease the risk of some cancers.
High in vitamin C and one of the top fruit sources of folate.
Mild summer squash, juicy peaches, crunchy bell peppers, and sweet corn bring benefits galore to the table. It's time to dig in to the golden treats of the summer garden.
VITAMIN C AND GARLIC
Get ready for a vitamin C boost—bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemons are all good sources. Regular consumption of garlic, especially raw garlic, may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Summer's juiciest stone fruit is a good source of vitamin C and beta-cryptoxanthin.
The fragrant melon is one of the top food sources of beta-carotene, which supports healthy vision and skin.
SQUASH AND LEMONS
Whether you choose crookneck or straightneck squash, they're both an excellent source of vitamin C. Lemons not only adds its classic sunny flavor, this citrus fruit also provides vitamin C.
Corn contains beta-cryptoxanthin, a fat-soluable antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
It's time you got to know anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that's found in the gorgeous indigo pigmentation of certain fresh produce.
PURPLE CAULIFLOWER AND JAPANESE EGGPLANT
All cauliflower is high in vitamin C and vitamin K—important for overall heart health. Purple cauliflower, though, is also rich in anthocyanin. Eggplant, the slim nightshade, is low in calories and high in potassium, folate, and fiber.
Purple potatoes taste similar to russet (baking potatoes), but they contain four times more antioxidants—namely anthocyanin. And, like all potatoes, they are high in potassium, important for regulating blood pressure.
High in vitamin C and fiber, these berries contain antioxidants that may help prevent cognitive decline.
If ever an ingredient deserved to be called a superfood, blueberries are it. They're the highest in antioxidants of any fruit, and those antioxidants may help protect brain function.
Red or purple cabbage is high in vitamin C (even more so than oranges) and anthocyanin, the pigment that gives it and other purple foods their color. It's an antioxidant that fights inflammation and may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.