Health Edge: Winter White Foods

(CNN) We’re often encouraged to reach for fruits and veggies hat are rich and deep in color, but the winter months also offer other produce options that may not be as flashy, but are still good for our health.

We often hear, the more colorful your produce, the healthier. But winter whites, fruits and vegetables that are pale in color, are packed with healthy nutrients as well. Veggies such as white potatoes, cauliflower, turnips, onions, garlic and even parsnips, which look a lot like a white carrot.

“They offer vitamins and nutrients but they also have some compounds in them that help to fight cancer, fight heart disease as well as keep your blood pressure in check, as well as cholesterol levels,” registered dietitian Marisa Moore said.

And though potatoes often get a bad rap, it’s what we put on them, not the vegetable itself that’s an issue.

“White potatoes are virtually fat free and they are also a good source of vitamin c and a great source of potassium which helps to lower blood pressure levels,” Moore said.

She says garlic contains a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk for prostate and stomach cancer. And onions have nutrients that help with digestion. And when it comes to winter white fruits, top of the list are the pale flesh fruits such as apples and pears.

“There are some studies to show that eating an apple or a pear a day can help lower the risk of stroke,” she said.

We can get most produce year round, but when we buy what’s in season it’s usually cheaper and tastes better.

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