6 healthy foods that are white (with recipes) to add to your diet for major benefits

  • 2 Minutes Read
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Nutritionists often encourage us to eat produce from all the colors of the rainbow, so how do healthy foods that are white play a part? Don't overlook pale-to-white foods, as they are nutritious choices with powerful health benefits. Here are our top six healthy white foods to include in your diet.

Healthy white foods

Is there such a thing as healthy foods that are white?

Yes, however, we aren't referring to vanilla ice cream or french fries. The "white" color in fruits and veggies actually comes from plant pigments called anthoxanthins. These powerful antioxidants are known for anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits and may reduce heart disease and stroke risk.

The top 6 white foods to eat

1. Garlic

Garlic isn't just good for warding off vampires (haha). A member of the allium family, garlic is related to onions, chives, and leeks. Garlic has been found to help keep our blood vessels healthy, lower cholesterol, and stimulate the immune system. Enjoy fresh, roasted, sautéed, or even in the form of garlic powder.

Try this recipe: Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette

2. White beans

White beans include Great Northern, cannellini, navy beans, and white kidney beans. Like other legumes, white beans have a low-glycemic index and may help blood sugar control. Beans are exceptionally high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and rich in potassium and magnesium. Mild in flavor, white beans are a welcome option for those who don't care for a "beany" taste. Blend white beans into tomato soup for a creamier texture or add to a pasta dish to boost protein content.

Try this recipe: Slow Cooker White Bean and Chicken Sausage Soup with Fennel

3. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is finally getting its due as a superstar cruciferous vegetable. These vegetables are promising for cancer protection. They are rich in glucosinolates, bitterly-flavored compounds with anti-inflammatory and cancer-protective properties.

Incredibly versatile, cauliflower shows up these days as a rice substitute, pizza crust ingredient, and even as a "steak". Cauliflower is low-calorie, low-carb, and rich in vitamin C and actually comes in other colors such as orange and purple

Try this recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Hummus

4. Onions

More than a token crunch and flavor on a burger, onions are an excellent source of prebiotic inulin to support healthy gut bacteria. Onions contain flavanols, providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Try grilling or caramelizing onions to bring out their sweet flavor.

Try this recipe: Cheesy French Onion Cauliflower

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms exposed to UV light contain a surprising amount of vitamin D. They also possess B vitamins, copper, and selenium. In addition to being low-calorie antioxidant sources, mushrooms feature potential cancer-fighting properties. Include sautéed mushrooms as a rich umami source in meatless dishes.

Try this recipe: Speedy Portobello Fajitas

6. Jerusalem artichoke

Also known as a sunchoke, Jerusalem artichokes are not related to a true artichoke. Unassuming tubers, Jerusalem artichokes are an excellent probiotic source and may help control blood sugar. Enjoy them roasted, steamed, or even raw.

Try this recipe: Roasted Sunchokes

A word about potatoes

While it is sound advice to avoid potato chips and French fries, you don't have to eliminate potatoes from a healthy-eating plan. A medium baked potato with skin provides generous doses of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and fiber. The 36g carbs are reasonable unless you are on a very low-carb plan.

Add a few healthy white foods to your diet, and you'll truly benefit from the full spectrum of the rainbow.

Adapted from original content by Katherine Isacks MPS, RDN

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Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables Foods & Recipes->Potatoes & French Fries Nutrients->Antioxidants
Mar 24, 2021

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