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Pale produce, a forgotten source of nutrients Print E-mail
Written by Robert Smith   
Sunday, 23 February 2014

According to a report in Advances in Nutrition, a journal published by the American Society for Nutrition, it's high time that we take a closer look at the health benefits of pale produce, not just colorful ones.

The report, "White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients," outlines the benefits of pale produce and suggests that Americans consider incorporating more of them in their diets to obtain the nutrients that are often overlooked in favor of foods that have deeper hues.

"It's recommended that the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed daily should include dark green and orange vegetables, but no such recommendation exists for white vegetables, even though they are rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium," says Connie Weaver, professor of nutrition science at Purdue University. "Overall, Americans are not eating enough vegetables, and promoting white vegetables, some of which are common and affordable, may be a pathway to increasing vegetable consumption in general."

Weaver explains that such vegetables include, but are not limited to, onions, parsnips, potatoes, mushrooms and cauliflower.

Let's take a closer look at a few of these pale vegetables and their related health benefits.

"A potato actually has more potassium than a banana," says Weaver. It's considered the third most abundant mineral in our bodies and, as such, is important in everything from regulating electrolyte balance to lowering blood pressure.

Fennel is a good source of fiber, potassium and folate, making this pale vegetable ideal for cardiovascular and colon health.

Onions are blooming with antioxidants that have been shown to help with protection against heart disease and cancer. In fact, a study in the European Journal of Epidemiology showed that women who ate more onion than garlic actually had a reduced risk of breast cancer.

Ready to banish belly fat? Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D. Since low vitamin D levels have been linked to the need for people to loosen their belts another notch or two, eating more mushrooms can help keep waistlines trim.

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