02 Sep White After Labor Day? Yes! It’s A Must Eat!
Now that summer has officially come to an end, many of us will be packing up our cut offs and tank tops, and savoring the last few juicy watermelons we can get our hands on. As I contemplated retiring my favorite white jeans for the season, I started thinking; what whites can stay after Labor Day?
Fruits and Veggies? You Bet!
We all know that colorful fruits and vegetables are loaded with all sorts of goodies, and health professionals always say the more color your produce has the better. While I wouldn’t disagree, part of me always feels sorry for the fruits and veggies that lack a little color. I’m talking my good ‘ol friends – onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, mushrooms and apples (just to name a few). These white fleshed gems are loaded with nutrition, and their benefits often take a back seat to their flavor and aromas.
Here are a couple reasons to load up on these whites even after the Labor Day bell has rung.
Organosulfur Compounds. Say What?!
This big, bad wolf of a word is really just a fancy way of saying that a food naturally contains the element sulfur. Chemistry aside, research reveals that diets rich in these compounds (whites!) may help prevent diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
In the kitchen: Roast a head of garlic to use in place of mayo on your next sandwich like Robin Miller does in this FoodNetwork.com recipe.
Q Is For Quercetin
This flavonol is a compound naturally found in plants. Onions are especially high in quercetin, and studies have shown that this killer compound can help reduce the risk of asthma, lung cancer and death from heart disease. Now that’s something to breathe deep about!
In the kitchen: Enjoy a sweet, roasted onion as a side dish or top a slice of whole grain toast with the oniony goodness and a smear of goat cheese for a savory breakfast or snack.
Indoles And Isothiocyanates, Oh My!
These plant chemicals are found in cruciferous vegetables (from the cabbage family). Aside from giving these veggies their pungent aroma and distinct flavor, indoles and isothiocyanates can help stop cancer growth. If that’s not a reason to eat your cauliflower I don’t know what is!
In the kitchen: Substitute cauliflower for half the potatoes in your next batch of mash.
Bottom Line: Although I may stick to tradition and swap my white jeans for traditional denim, I’ll be sure to keep white fruits and veggies up and running past summer’s end (and I hope you will, too!). These simple, inexpensive additions will not only pump up the flavor in your fall meals, but give you some major disease fighting nutrients.
TELL ME: How will you eat your next “white?”
Elizabeth Canepari earned her Master of Science degree in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to pursuing a career in nutrition, she taught health and physical education in New Jersey. Elizabeth is working as a dietitian in an outpatient pediatric obesity program in Central New Jersey.