Foods Rich in Vitamins – Why The Most Colorful Foods Are Rich in Vitamins
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, you want your plate to look like a pile of crayons. Why? Because brightly colored foods tend to be rich in vitamins, as well as other chemicals that are good for us. Food that is red, yellow, green, orange and blue offers important health benefits. The pigments that give these foods bright colors belong to a type of chemical known as antioxidants.
Plants make antioxidants to protect themselves against free radicals, which can damage them. So in addition to vitamins, an intensely colored plant typically has more protective antioxidants than a paler plant does. For example, carrots are rich in Vitamin A. Strawberries and oranges are rich in Vitamin C. Fresh asparagus is a good source of Vitamin K and the B vitamin folate. Sweet yellow corn is a good source of thiamin, another member of the B vitamin family.
Other Health Benefits
According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of heart disease, and may help prevent bone loss and certain cancers.
Blue and Purple Food
Plums are rich in Vitamin C, and one medium-sized plum has only 30 calories. Blueberries are rich in vitamins A and C and in folate, one of the B vitamins, and also are loaded with antioxidants.
Red, Yellow and Orange Food
Strawberries are good source of Vitamin C. Just one cup provides the Dietary Reference Intakes’ daily recommendation. Just one cup of fresh tomatoes provides about a third of the daily recommendation for Vitamin C, and a cup of oranges has the entire daily need for Vitamin C plus about a tenth of the daily requirements for B vitamins thiamin and B6. A half cup of fresh carrots is rich in Vitamin A, containing about half a woman’s DRI of 700 micrograms daily, plus about a tenth of the daily requirements for B6 and thiamin. A cup of fresh sweet yellow corn or acorn squash contains about a third of the daily requirement for thiamin. Just one medium banana has about half the daily requirement for B6. Sweet red peppers are rich in Vitamin C, more than a day’s need in half a cup.
A cup of cooked spinach provides about a third of the daily requirements for B6, and just half a cup contains about a third of the day’s need for folate and more than half the daily recommendation for Vitamin A. The requirement for folate is 400 mcg daily and for Vitamin A, it’s 700 micrograms for women and 900 mcg for men. A half cup of peas contains about a fifth of the daily requirement for thiamin. Just six asparagus spears provide about a tenth of the body’s need for B vitamin riboflavin and about a third of the recommendation for folate. A cup of broccoli contains about four times the daily recommendation of Vitamin K, 90 micrograms for women and 120 mcg for men. One California avocado has about a third of the daily Vitamin E requirement and a third of the recommendation for pantothenic acid, also known as Vitamin B5. Adults need 5 mg daily of B5 and 15 mg of Vitamin E.