Eat your vegetables. How many times did we hear that as a child? The US dietary guidelines recommend a minimum of 3 cups of vegetables and fruits every day but ideally, we should eat 6 to 8 cups to be healthy.  Sadly, less than 3% of Americans do this. What vegetables we do consume are typically in the form of French fries, ketchup, iceberg lettuce, and corn.

Healthy vegetables and fruits contain a warehouse of medicinal value. When it comes to eating our medicine, the options are endless. Eating the rainbow is the gateway to health and healing. Vegetables and fruit use their color to signify the beneficial substances they contain.    

Plant color families include:

  • Orange- carrot, mango, apricot, cantaloupe, pumpkin, acorn squash, winter squash, sweet potato
  • Orange/Yellow- pineapple, orange, tangerine, peach, papaya, nectarine
  • Green- broccoli, Brussel sprout, cabbage, kale
  • Yellow/Green- spinach greens, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, yellow corn, green peas, avocado, honeydew melon
  • Red/Purple- beets, eggplant, purple grapes, red wine, prune, cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, red apple
  • Red- tomato, pink grapefruit, watermelon
  • White- leek, scallion, garlic, onion, celery, pear, white wine, endive, chives

The more colorful when it comes to plants, the more healing compound is supplied. Antioxidants can heart disease can significantly be lowered with the white and red/purple family. Many pollutants in our world can damage our genes. This can be reversed as the red family rids the body of free radicals. Want to keep your eyes healthy, eat more of the yellow/green and orange group.

 “It might surprise you to learn that it’s NOT normal to feel tired all the time. Our on-the-go culture has made it the norm’ according to Dr. Mark Hyman. The yellow/green family is packed with B vitamins which improved energy. B-complex vitamins are also proven to heal damaged nerve in those with diabetic neuropathy. 

All colorful vegetables are very low in carbohydrates which can lower blood sugar and blood pressure. You can eat all the colorful vegetables you want and still lose weight. This does mean avoiding the non-colorful or starchy vegetables such as most potatoes and corn.

Give your body the nutrition it needs every day. Instead of fries, try sweet potatoes fries or another vegetable. Add onions to any meal. A glass of wine in the evening can be nutritious as well as improve sleep. Make vegetable soup, casserole or omelets and eat on them for several days! Try zucchini lasagna or cauliflower for pizza base.

Live Long, Live Healthy!

Dr. Julie Wood is a Nurse Practitioner and has been serving the Middle Tennessee area for more than 30 years, specializing in adults with obesity, prediabetes and diabetes. Office is located at 401 First Avenue, Mt. Pleasant, TN and statewide with telehealth. Dr. Wood can be reached at 931-325-5560,,  

Articles are meant to be informative and should never replace the advice of your health care provider.