By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A diet that includes a lot of produce can help you lower your risk of developing heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

What you may not realize is that eating a rainbow of colors helps ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs. But do you know why?

Eating foods of a red or pinkish hue contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect your body’s cells from damage.

Consuming foods with lycopene may help reduce your risk of cancer. Red bell peppers and tomatoes are a big source.

Many of the vegetables we eat—like lettuce, spinach, green peppers, green beans, broccoli, and kale—are naturally green.

Fruits and vegetables are different colors because of the different nutrients and phytochemicals.

Green fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of developing cancer, support your eye health, and help build strong bones.

Blue and purple, like blueberries and blackberries, are that color because of anthocyanins, which reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

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