Are you eating enough orange food? There are a number of reasons to get a good dose of these brightly-coloured powerhouses in your diet – of course, we’re talking about whole foods here, you won’t find any Doritos on this list! Here are 4 foods worth including on your shopping list.
You’ve probably heard about how important it is to “eat the rainbow" when it comes to fruit and veggies – and orange is one of the many colours to keep on your plate. Here are a few nutritious orange foods and what they can do for you.
Carrots are an affordable and nutritious veggie offering a number of benefits – particularly from the beta-carotene which gives them their trademark orange colour:
- Supports eye health
- Lowers blood pressure
- Boosts immune health
- Fights inflammation
- Supports healthy bones
Carrots may help lower blood pressure with their antioxidants like p-coumaric, which is known to relax the blood vessels and reduce high blood pressure levels. One study found that participants who drank carrot juice for 3 months experienced a decrease in diastolic blood pressure levels – but it’s worth noting that raw carrots are believed to be more effective than cooked carrots when it comes to fighting high blood pressure. Plus, it’s no secret that carrots do wonders for the eyes – this is because of their vitamin A and beta carotene content. Vitamin A in carrots is a component of rhodopsin, a protein known to help the retina take in light and see better. The beta carotene is used by the body to produce vitamin A, making it another eye health booster.
Much like carrots, it’s the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes that makes them orange – and it also makes them exceptionally nutritious. They boost eye and skin health by improving our keratin levels – an element of healthy skin, along with upping our vitamin A. A study found that a vitamin A deficiency could result in unhealthy skin including dryness and wrinkles, so it’s worth loading up on some of these nutritious veggies.
Oranges are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, which strengthen the blood vessels in the eyes, and reduce the risk for age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Hesperidin is another antioxidant found in oranges which is known to reduce inflammation. Like carrots and sweet potatoes, you’ll also find carotenoids in oranges – that’s what gives them their colour and many of their antioxidant properties. Just be sure to steer clear of orange juice as it’s a fructose overload! But whole oranges are nutritious in moderation and a great addition to a healthy diet.
Don’t let the name fool you – these tasty lentils cook up to be orange and highly nutritious. Aside from their much quicker cooking time to other lentil varieties, there are a number of benefits that come with this food. They’re rich in potassium for healthy nerves and they’ve also got a good amount of folate, antioxidants and fibre – the latter of which improves digestion and keeps those sugar cravings at bay as it keeps you feeling full. Of course, brown and green lentils are also loaded with nutrients – but they come with a longer cooking time, so if speed and nutrition is your goal, give red lentils a go.
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