Real Simpleanswers your questions.

By Real Simple
Updated September 14, 2009
David Prince

Q. Lately, I’ve been seeing everyday vegetables turning up in vibrant new hues. What can you tell me about them?

A. “Unusually colored vegetables are usually hybrids of the original plant,” says Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas. One exception? White asparagus, which is just green asparagus that has been grown underground; the lack of sunlight keeps it from producing chlorophyll. So are these vegetables worth adding to your diet? Some do contain greater concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants than their plain counterparts. (Orange cauliflower, for example, has, in the form of beta-carotene, 25 times more vitamin A than white.) But then, they might be lacking in others. So choosing unusual colors won’t always boost your nutritional intake. Although they do look pretty on a plate.

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