Produce Produces Health Benefits

ProduceThe Role of Vitamins and Minerals
Vegetables and fruits contain many vitamins and minerals to help you stay healthy — and they’re color cued! Here are the most plentiful.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A protects you from infection, promotes cell growth, and helps you see normally in the dark. Fruits and vegetables don’t actually contain vitamin A — they have beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A in your body. Just think orange and green — apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, squash, sweet potato, bokchoy, kale, Swiss chard, spinach.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps produce collagen, the substance that holds together muscles, bones, and other tissues. It plays a role in the healing of wounds, resistance to infection, and the metabolism of some amino acids and folic acid. It also helps your body absorb iron from plant sources. Vitamin C is found in a rainbow of fruits and vegetables — asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwi, oranges, papaya, lemon, raspberries, strawberries, tomato juice, watermelon.

Folic Acid
Folic acid is needed for DNA metabolism, cell division, tissue growth, and the formation of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in red blood cells. Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant need folic acid to help prevent anemia, miscarriage, and infants born with neural tube defects. Avocado, broccoli, peas, green and red leaf lettuce, oranges, and turnip greens are rich in folic acid.

Magnesium serves as a component of bones and helps maintain cells in your nerves and muscles. It’s found in acorn squash, bananas, baked potato with skin, lima beans, parsnips, peas, and spinach.

Potassium helps regulate fluids and mineral balance, maintain normal blood pressure, contract muscles, and transmit nerve impulses. Apricot, banana, bell pepper, peas, okra, oranges, potatoes, prune juice, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes will give you potassium.