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M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites: Orange You Glad To See Me?

Healthy Bites

Healthy Bites

When I first got my drivers license, I thought I had perfect vision … until I had to drive at night.  Squinting to read street signs indicated that it was time to pay a visit to the optometrist.   After I put on my first pair of prescription lenses and hit the road, I saw the world in a new light.   But I didn’t want to wear glasses all of the time, only when I needed sharp vision, so the doctor repeated something that my mama always said:  “Eat your carrots.”

It’s widely known that carrots help your eyes, but why?

Carrots contain beta carotene, the nutrient responsible for giving carrots, and other orange fresh foods, their vibrant color.  When you eat carrots, your body converts the beta carotene into Vitamin A, a vitamin important for eyesight, especially night vision. Yes, eyeglasses have been more stylish than ever, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your eyes healthy. Incorporate orange foods into your diet and your eyes will be stronger than ever.

Like many other colors of the produce rainbow, orange foods have more than one benefit for the body. Read the rest for more info on orange fruits and vegetables and how else they can get your body in good shape.

Aside from helping your eyes, orange fruits and veggies are great for your skin and your general health.  Beta carotene can prevent sun damage and Vitamin C rebuilds the skin.  I’ve seen plenty of skin products lately that use oranges and carrots in their formula, proving that the beauty industry is also tapping into the benefits of natural foods.  If you’re feeling sick, a glass of OJ will always help, but don’t forget about a serving of sweet potatoes, squash, or cantaloupe!   The Vitamin C found in many fruits and vegetables work to strengthen the immune system and prevent colds.

And to top it all off, beta carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C are all antioxidants that can prevent cancer and other diseases. We are exposed to many cancer-causing agents on the daily, and by building up our body to fight off these carcinogens, we can be strong and healthy!

Check out these orange fruits & vegetables:

  • Pumpkin
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Peaches
  • Tangerines
  • Mango
  • Guava
  • Persimmons
  • Oranges
  • Kumquat
  • Squash
  • And so much more!

Try these tips to see more orange on your plate:

  • Snack attack. Oranges make the perfect snack on the go because they come in their own package! Carry one with you for a quick and healthy bite.
  • Lay it on the bed. Put slivers of carrots on a bed of crisp lettuce or spinach for a colorful salad.
  • Dressing time. Squeeze oranges or kumquats on your salad or in your dressing to get a boost of nutrients and a sweet and sour kick!
  • Mash it up. Sweet potatoes make a sweet and healthy substitute to mashed white potatoes. Add cinnamon and fresh squeezed orange for extra flavor.
  • Unfried fries. Bake butternut squash or sweet potatoes sticks when you’re in French fry mood without the guilt.
  • Juicy fruit … and vegetables. Drink 100% orange juice and don’t forget about other orange kinds of juice, like carrot, cantaloupe, and even mango!
  • Jelly and Jam. Spread apricot jam or guava jelly on toast, crackers, or slap some on a stack of pancakes.
  • Get in a pickle. Mix carrots with vinegar, sugar, and water and soak overnight for a pickled flavor.
  • Bake a cake. Carrot cakes are yummy, but you can also add fruit preserves to cake to make a delicious treat.
  • Put it in the oven. Mix carrots, squash, garlic, onion, and any other fruits and veggies with some olive oil and herbs. Roast in the oven for a quick and easy meal.
  • Soups and stews. Puree roasted squash or pumpkin for a cozy soup. Add chunks of carrots to your favorite stew and cook until soft and tender.
  • Salsa sauce. Mix mango, peaches, or even persimmons with your favorite salsa recipe. Goes great with fish tacos!

Orange you glad to have read this? I hope you’ll start seeing orange!

As always, ask your doctor or nutritionist for the proper advice that fits your lifestyle.

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