Although ANY fruit or vegetable is going to be better for you than picking up a package of chips, I’m going to weigh (no pun intended) your produce options. Then explain which fruit or vegetable is the better choice so you can add more nutrients in your diet.
The deeper red the apple, the more antioxidants. Antioxidants are the compounds in fruits and vegetables that help us fight cancers and cardiovascular diseases. They work hard to fight with the cancer agents in our body. The apple with the lowest level of antioxidants was the Empire. Apples are also high in boron, an element which helps to fight again osteoporosis. If you’re thinking this is an excuse to eat more apple pie, I have some bad news. Like potatoes, most of the nutrients are found in the skin.
Add it to your diet: Apples are great by themselves, or you can drizzle with honey, brie, or peanut butter, for some fresh takes on a great snack.
The red pepper wins hands down, over orange, yellow, and green peppers. (Go red pepper! It’s your birthday!) Red peppers are high carotenoid phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red Bell Peppers have a sweet, almost fruity taste.
Add it to your diet: I enjoy roasted red peppers atop a sweet potato covered in goat cheese. It may sound like an odd combination, but it tastes like a regular baked potato.
When it comes to tomatoes, red cherry, grape and currant tomatoes have the most intense flavor and are highest in lycopene. Many studies suggest that having high lycopene levels in the body may be linked to reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related eye disorders. In general, the darker the color and the smaller the size, the more nutritious the tomato. Yellow and green tomatoes are good to grill or fry (or name a movie), but if you’re looking for nutrients, select the small red variety.
Add it to your diet: Try alternating grape tomoatoes and mozzarella balls on a skewer over the grill for a refreshing treat.
The smaller the onion, the better it is for you. Smaller onions contain less water and have a higher amount of phytonutrients. Opt for smaller red and yellow onions instead of big, white ones.
Add it to your diet: Roast up some pearl onions with asparagus and squash with a little bit of olive oil and a dash of salt & pepper
Unlike with people, when it comes to lettuce, BIG HEADS ARE A GOOD THING TO HAVE. The most nutritious in the lettuce department is deeply colored, open head lettuce. Purple, red and reddish brown lettuces have anthocyanins present, which are powerful antioxidants that also lower blood pressure. Pale-colored varieties like iceberg are the least nutritious.
Add it to your diet: Use it in place of other lettuce. Toss in some chicken, apples, and nuts to make a fiber filled lunch.
What are your favorite ways to use these fruits and veggies? Many of these pair nicely together which makes for some nutrient-packed meals.