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Mix up your menu with a variety of nutrients

February 04, 2015
Rainbow of vegetables

You can try the latest “superfood,” but no one thing is the key to healthful eating. The trick is to eat a wide variety of foods, so that you are regularly consuming a wide variety of nutrients.

Foods of many colors

One of the easiest ways to make sure you’re covering your nutritional bases is by eating foods of many colors—the different pigments of fruits and vegetables reflect each food’s unique combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

At farmers markets around the Triangle, you can find the full rainbow of foods, from fun new finds to Southern classics.

Blues and purples

  • Protect against cancer
  • Support heart and memory health
  • Found in NC: blueberries, blackberries, grapes, eggplant, cabbage, purple yams, figs


  • Protect against cancer
  • Support memory, heart, and urinary tract health
  • Found in NC: watermelons, red onions, radishes, apples, tomatoes, beets, peppers, strawberries, raspberries

Whites and tans

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improve blood pressure
  • Found in NC: turnips, mushrooms, pears, corn, potatoes, garlic, onion, leeks, melons


  • Boost immune system
  • Support vision, bone, and dental health
  • Found in NC: broccoli, green apples, okra, honeydew, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuces, cabbage, peppers, peas, dark leafy greens

Yellows and oranges

  • Protect against cancer
  • Boost immune system
  • Support heart health
  • Found in NC: cantaloupe, peaches, tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, sweet peppers, apples, corn, persimmon

Learn more about health and wellness options at Duke

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