Brighten Your Plate With Yellows Like Pineapple, Star Fruit and Squash

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Launch into summer with splashes of yellow on your plate. This brilliant color not only cheers the soul, but also adds carotenoids to your diet. These protective components improve eye health and protect against cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

You also will get plenty of vitamin C from yellow foods, particularly those in the citrus family.

As we continue our series that encourages adding color to our plates, we look to pineapple, star fruit and squash.

Only one and a half cups of pineapple or star fruit or two and a half cups of the crookneck yellow veggie are all that's needed for women 31 to 50 to meet their daily requirements of fruits and vegetables, according to the More Matters campaign, an initiative of the nonprofit Produce for Better Health organization.

Men in the same age range need two cups of fruit and three cups of veggies to ward off poor health. And it's so easy to add these delicious and colorful foods to our plates.

Grill pineapple after brushing wedges of the bright yellow flesh with a glaze of honey, lemon or lime juice and black pepper. The heat of the grill brings out the flavors of fruit in ways other cooking methods don't.

For squash, try stuffing halves with corn, onion, red and green pepper. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake. This is a delicious way to serve squash, which sometimes turns off children because of its, well, squashy texture.

For a creative flair, turn to the star fruit to entice the children in your house to indulge in fruit. Youngsters each need at least one cup of fruit a day, increasing to one and a half or two cups for boys and girls ages nine to 18.

Eat as is or slice the light yellow Asian fruit, also known as carambola, and add it to a fruit salad.

The star fruit is a true convenience food. It requires no peeling or seeding before eating -- unlike the trickier, prickly pineapple.

Toddlers will be impressed with the star-shaped slices, and they likely will enjoy the unusual fruit's flavor, too. The sweet variety of star fruit tastes like a combination of an apple, grape and a plum. A more tart variety also is available, but for children, stick with the milder, sweeter fruit. For the adults in your life, try adding carambola slices to a salad with grilled tuna. Just look for firm, light yellow pieces of the five-pointed fruit with lightly browned ribs, the edges that create the points.

There is one caveat: Patients with chronic renal failure should not eat this fruit, which has a poisoning effect on their weakened system.

More Yellow Foods:

  • Yellow apples
  • Yellow figs
  • Golden kiwi
  • Yellow pears
  • Persimmons
  • Yellow watermelon
  • Yellow beets
  • Butternut squash
  • Yellow peppers
  • Yellow potatoes
  • Sweet corn
  • Yellow tomatoes
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