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Three Orange Foods to Boost your Health! - Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Three Orange Foods to Boost your Health!

three healthy orange foods

Three Orange Foods to Boost your Health!

Are you getting enough orange foods in your diet?  It is recommended that we consume one orange (and dark green) vegetable daily to get enough vitamin A and folate (Health Canada).  Today, let’s spotlight three orange foods, why they’re healthy and how to include them in your diet.

 

What makes Orange Foods Healthy?

Orange vegetables get their vibrant colour from beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that acts as an antioxidant.  Vitamin A supports our eyesight, regulates our immune system and keeps our skin healthy. Orange vegetables also tend to contain other health promoting nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre, lycopene and flavonoids. Brightly coloured foods contain phytonutrients (or ‘plant nutrients’) which can help prevent disease.

 

Health benefits of orange foods include:

  • Supports eye health and reduces risk of macular degeneration
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • May help with prevention of diabetes
  • Boosts immune system
  • Fights free radicals in the body
  • Supports healthy bones and joints

 

DYK: orange foods can support healthy bones and joints? Click To Tweet

 

Simple ways to Enjoy 3 Orange Foods:

 

Butternut Squash:

  • Roasted with olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon salt and pepper
  • Mashed as side or added to mashed potato
  • Cubed and added to pasta, rice, risotto, stew, soup, quinoa salad
  • Pureed in a soup
  • Grilled on BBQ
  • Ravioli filling
  • Pureed in pasta sauce, hummus recipe, curry or chili or mac & cheese

butternut

 

Red Lentils:

Red lentils

Pureed Pumpkin:

  • Added to soup
  • Added to mashed potatoes
  • Use as an oil substitute in baking (1:1 ratio, or 1 cup pumpkin to replace 1 cup oil)
  • Add the puree to a bowl of oatmeal
  • Stir it into a carton of yogurt
  • Include in pasta sauce, hummus recipe, curry or chili or mac & cheese
  • Cookies
  • Add to a smoothie
  • Ravioli filling

 

pumpkin soup

Bottom Line:

Choose orange and colourful foods in your diet.  Phytonutrients are responsible for giving plant foods their colour along with health-promoting benefits. Enjoy some butternut squash, red lentils, and pumpkin puree.  You can also enjoy some of the more traditional carrots, sweet potato, apricots, cantaloupes, mangoes, nectarines, papaya and peaches instead to fill the one orange coloured food a day quota.

 

  • Janice McDonald

    This is an excellent reminder to be conscious of the colour on our plate!

  • Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

    Awesome! Thanks for reading and commenting, Janice!

  • Lauren Bauman

    Now that it’s cold outside, I’m going to try your Lemon Ginger Red Lentil soup recipe. It looks easy and tasty.

  • Jody Clemens

    Did not realize the colour of certain vegetables and fruits had these kind of benefits. I roasted butternut squash this week and it was delicious and a great way to boost my carotenoids now too 🙂

  • Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

    Thanks Jody and Lauren for reading and commenting! Glad you enjoyed the article and it’s inspiring your meals!