Did you know that alpha- and beta-carotene are responsible for the orange color you see in your vegetables? Carrots are the most well-known example, but other orange veggies such as sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, mango, and of course oranges are high in carotene! Even some varieties of heirloom corn have been selected for high carotene, boosting their nutrients and giving them a lovely orange hue.
What is carotene and why does it matter? Carotenoids are plant nutrients that act as pigments and help plants boost their sunlight intake. When eaten, they act as antioxidants and are important cancer fighters! They also are anti-inflammatory and give immune system benefits, and are becoming known for cardiovascular disease prevention.
So this year, make a special effort to eat those orange foods!
Here are a few orange Heirloom Vegetables available at Raresight Farms:
• Honeynut Butternut Squash • Giant Poha Berry • Sugar Cube Melon • Ratunda Orange Sweet Pepper • Gete-Okosomin Squash • Leelanau Sweetglow Watermelon • Corrales Azafran Safflower • Golden Firework Tomato • Tahitian Melon Squash • Golden Giant Amaranth • Tequila Sunrise Pepper • Rajasthan Honey Melon • Golden Beet • Delice de la Table Melon • Pineapple Tomato • Kousa Dogwood Fruit • Charentais Melon • Butternut Orange Squash • and lots more!