White fruits and vegetables
If you’ve never really thought carefully about “pale” fruits and vegetables, you’re not alone.
The brighter colors of the rainbow tend to get all the publicity, but the variety of produce that falls into the pale or white category is pretty expansive: Bananas (after you peel them), cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, shallots, turnips, white corn, white peaches and more.
The term “pale” may be why they don’t get a lot of acknowledgement, but they do have a few other issues. Some aren’t just pale, they can be considered downright ugly. Think about it: Have you ever called a potato or a parsnip pretty?
Eating fungus doesn’t sound appetizing, even though you may love mushrooms on your pizza. And some can be stinky (cauliflower) or make your eyes water (onions).
Packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients
Push these out of your mind, though, because pale foods pack a lot of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are important for your overall health. That means they should get a regular spot at the table.
Phytonutrients are those natural, protective substances found in plants that also give them their unique colors. You should be eating fruits and vegetables from all color groups to help ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs.
White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
White fruits and vegetables contain nutrients known to lower the level of bad cholesterol in your body as well as lower high blood pressure.
Some members of the white group, such as bananas are also a good source of potassium. Beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.
Phytonutrients in white foods
So, what white fruits and vegetables can you include in your diet?