1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Foods that heal you

updated 6/26/2006 4:35:09 PM ET 2006-06-26T20:35:09

We’ve all heard the saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what is it about the apple that gives us health benefits? The answer could be in the food’s color. Madelyn Fernstrom, a “Today” contributor and director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, was invited on the show to tell us which colorful foods we should be sure to include in our diets. Here are her tips:

When it comes to a healthy diet, color is key. Colorful fruits and vegetables are good for you, because the biological compounds that produce their colors are also health-promoting compounds. In addition to containing vitamins and minerals, colorful foods are also rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood sugar levels, and immunological disorders.

To make it easier for you to include colorful foods in your diet, make sure that you have these colors on your plate:

Red and purple

  • berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, etc.)
  • pomegranates
  • apples

Red and purple plus
(These foods that also contain lycopene, a compound that prevents heart disease and cancer.)

  • tomatoes
  • watermelon
  • pink grapefruit


  • carrots
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potatoes
  • butternut squash
  • oranges


  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • green peppers
  • cabbage
  • kale
  • spinach
  • green tea

Other health foods to include on your plate:

  • Yogurt (plain, low fat). Yogurt contains pre-biotics and pro-biotics that helps promote good digestive health. And it provides you with calcium and protein. (Dannon recently introduced a pro-biotic yogurt, Activa.)
  • Almonds and walnuts. These nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids which promote healthier hearts. These fatty acids lower cholesterol and act as an anti-inflammatory for blood vessels.
  • Salmon. This fish is another good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Oats, barley, and wheat germ. These grains also promote good heart health.
  • Onions and garlic. They lower blood pressure and cholesterol. (Garlic is higher in healthy compounds than onions, but you can use more onions to get the same benefit.)
  • Spices. Ginger is good for digestion; turmeric (found in curry) and cumin help with digestion; thyme, sage, rosemary, and oregano decrease stomach gas.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. ‘She was all over me!' Regis dishes on co-hosting with Kathie Lee

    TrydayFriday was a laugh-out-loud, fun-filled show as KLG invited her old pal to co-host.

    8/1/2014 2:01:46 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T14:01:46
  2. 6 GIFs show why this animal segment is the best one ever

    When animals visit Kathie Lee and Hoda, things always get interesting. But when Regis is co-hosting, it gets down right outrageous!"Does Hoda have a pith helmet here I can put on?

    8/1/2014 2:40:51 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T14:40:51
  3. TODAY the musical! KLG puts together show featuring anchors

    The special Friday edition of TODAY's Fourth Hour was full of surprises — not only did Regis Philbin fill in for Hoda, but Kathie Lee made a big announcement: Get ready for TODAY the musical! "It's going to be live and it's going to be so much fun," an excited Kathie Lee said.

    8/1/2014 2:14:15 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T14:14:15
  4. TODAY
  1. US scrambles to retrieve Ebola-infected Americans

    Health officials are trying to get at least one American patient infected with Ebola virus back from West Africa for treatment. Emory University Hospital said it was ready to take care of one patient at a special isolation unit.

    8/1/2014 3:47:06 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T15:47:06