Sam Bauman: Color coded shopping for produce



Farmers market may be shuttered, but we’ll still be shopping for fruit and veggies so I was intrigued by an article in Consumer Reports Wellness Guide. Under the heading of “For disease-fighting fruits and veggies, shop by color.”

Being mildly color blind, I perused the guide and found out how to shop by colors. Color is the tipoff to the healthy nutrients inside fruits and vegetables. Here’s more on the idea:

RED: Pigments lycopene and anthocyanin are powerful antioxidants. Anthocyanins are in raspberries, red grapes and strawberries potent cells. Also, some lycopenes rich tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon. More good stuff — beets, cherries, cranberries and red cabbage.

GREEN: This color is a clue to phytonutrients such as indoles in broccoli, Brussels sprouts and green cabbage that may protect against come forms of cancer. Cruciferous and green vegetables like broccoli and spinach have folate, a vitamin B that may reduce birth defects. Leafy greens, green peppers and peas contain lutein linked to eye health. Other greens include artichokes, asparagus, avocados and green beans.

ORANGE AND YELLOW: These colors indicate carotenoid-rich food which lower the risk of cancer and heart disease, bolster the immune system. The beta-carotene in carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes becomes vitamin A — good for vision. Oranges are jammed with vitamin C, good for the heart. Toss in apricots, butternut squash and cantaloupe.

BLUE AND PURPLE: These are a clue to anthocyanins a cell protection and reduce risks of candor, heart problem and strokes. Blueberries have been tied to better memory and healthy aging. Include blackberries, eggplants, figs, plums, prunes, purple grapes and raisins.

WHITE: Look for garlic and onions which offer allicin, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces risks of heart disease and stomach cancer. Bananas and potatoes have potassium that help muscles. Include cauliflower, jicama, mushrooms, parsnips and turnips.

Enough about colors.


The snow triggered the impulse to dig out skis and boot bag, maybe early but at least the impulse was there.

For seniors, getting gear prepped is more important than in the days of youth when all we did was rub on some instant wax and hit the slopes.

But for seniors, the preseason wax job is more important than ever. Waxing doesn’t just make the skis go faster, it also makes them easier to turn. And the skis move more easily.

If you’re handy and have the facilities to do it yourself, do so. It’s easy and just check the Internet to find out how to do it. All you’ll need is a couple of sticks of wax, an old laundry iron and someplace where the melted wax won’t clot the rugs. Do it yourself or take it to the ski shop. But whatever way you go be sure to get the wax on.

And if you’re going to ski for four or five days at least, check on the preseason lift tickets. They can be a real money saver, especially for seniors who enjoy lower prices. If you don’t think you’ll ski more than a couple of times, a $100 daily lift ticket may be good enough.

And speaking of skiing, for the first time in years, the World Cup ski racing is coming to Squaw Valley in March. Time was that the World Cup would come here regularly, but hosting the events is costly and irritates some fans because of closed runs.

Personally, I figure on being at Squaw for the events. And all the fun parties afterward.


This year’s Wellness Guide has these suggestions:

For vitamin E just skip it. Research hasn’t found supplements haven’t offered any proof of value. Just get E from nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Vitamin E inhibits blood clotting and shouldn’t be taken with blood thinners such as Warfarin.

An apple a day is a good idea. People who ate a medium apple daily were 52 percent less likely to have a stroke, a recent study showed.

Swallowing a lot of vitamins and mineral pills may sound good but doing so deprives the body of many nutrients that are found in fruit and vegetables. Earlier tests showing pills reduce disease are now questioned.

Next week we’ll look at pain pills — the good and the bad and when too many are bad for you.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.


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