Orange You Glad... It's Spring!
Orange You Glad…
Frank Sinatra once said that “orange is the happiest color” and really, who could disagree? There’s something about orange that’s bright, buoyant, cheerful…it brings a smile to your face, and it makes your insides smile, too.
Orange fruits and vegetables contain a wealth of beneficial nutrients that can improve heart, lung, skin and eye health, in addition to possibly decreasing the risk of some cancers. One of the best-known antioxidants, beta-carotene, gives orange produce its sunny color. Because it is believed to have anti-aging and protective properties, many cosmetics companies are using beta-carotene in skin creams. Preliminary studies show that beta-carotene may slow cognitive decline, so it’s good for beauty and brains.
Once in the body, beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A, an essential nutrient, also called retinol. Vitamin A regulates white blood cells, cell growth and division and helps the body maintain bone integrity. It’s perhaps best known for helping enhance night vision. And, don’t forget vitamin C, another essential nutrient that is great for boosting the immune system. Lots of orange fruits and vegetables are just bursting with Vitamin C!
There’s a whole rainbow just within the orange spectrum. Some delicious favorites include:
- Citrus: tangerines, oranges, kumquats and mandarinquats
- Stone Fruit: apricots, peaches, nectarines
- Melons: cantaloupe, crenshaw, charantais, sharyln
- Papayas: strawberry, tai nung
- Mangoes: ataulfo, green keitt, kent, haden
- Persimmons: fuyu, hachiya, cinnamon, sharon
- Squash: delicata, kabocha, buttercup, carnival, spaghetti, gold nugget, sweet dumpling, butternut, acorn, turban, hubbard, red kuri
- Pumpkins: sugar pie, cinderella, autumn gold, cheese, pink
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams: garnet, jewel, yamo imo
- Peppers & Chiles: bell, veggie sweet, long hot, habanero, manzano
- Carrots: rainbow, thumbelina, long orange, baby
- Even more: cape gooseberries, orange cauliflower, turmeric