Adding 'winter white' to your diet

Published On: Jan 15 2014 04:49:12 PM EST

AP

You've probably heard of "winter white" in fashion, but what about in food?

While nutritionists often encourage people to "eat the rainbow," when it comes to fruits and vegetables, experts say you shouldn't overlook the health benefits of paler produce.

Veggies such as white potatoes, cauliflower, turnips, onions, garlic and parsnips all pack a nutritional punch.

"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," said registered dietitian Marisa Moore.

Although potatoes often get a bad rap, it's actually toppings like cheese, sour cream, and bacon that pose a problem.

"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," said Moore.

The more pungent "winter whites" have big benefits too.

Moore 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.

When it comes to white fruits, apples and pears top the list. While their skins are brightly-hued, the inside is white.

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

Bananas are famous for their yellow peels, but they're also considered a paler fruit. They're high in potassium and may help protect against high blood pressure.

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