For Best Nutrition, Pick Deeply Colored Fruits, Vegetables

By Silva, Jill Wendholt | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 21, 2009 | Go to article overview

For Best Nutrition, Pick Deeply Colored Fruits, Vegetables


Silva, Jill Wendholt, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Do you eat enough greens, purples, reds and oranges? And how much is enough?

For starters, the science is black-and-white: Richly hued fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Yet Americans eat fewer than 20 different fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, and most of us eat only three servings a day rather than the recommended nine to 13 servings.

"Numbers can be daunting to people, but more matters," says Elizabeth Pivonka, president of Produce for Better Health. "Half of what you eat in a day should count in the fruit and vegetable category."

And rather than thinking about individual fruits and vegetables in terms of whether they supply a particular nutrient such as beta carotene or vitamin C, Pivonka encourages eating a wide variety of produce to guarantee you're getting a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Spicy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Soup is packed with color and variety, including vegetables in several forms: fresh (sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers and onions), frozen (corn) and canned (no salt-added tomatoes).

Jill Wendholt Silva is the food editor for The Kansas City Star. Recipe developed by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

Spicy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Soup

For a vegetarian soup, you can substitute vegetable broth. However, it is difficult to find low-sodium vegetable broth. The most typical brand, Swanson, markets only one type of vegetable broth, which contains 940 milligrams sodium per serving. …

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