You would be well served to put a vivid palette of luscious reds, brilliant greens and deep purples on your plate. "Colorful fruits and vegetables don't just make your meal look more appealing," says Karen Ansel, a registered dietician in Syosset, New York, and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "You get a better mix of nutrients by eating produce in a variety of shades." That's thanks to the unique combination of vitamins, antioxidants and natural chemicals behind the bright hues. Research shows these compounds ward off disease, slow the aging process and boost overall health.
Cherries: A small handful (either dried or fresh) eaten one hour before bed can help raise melatonin levels, sending you off to dreamland faster.
Red Bell Peppers: Ring in better vision with this bell-shaped veggie. It's filled with lutein, a com-pound that can reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Tomatoes: Lycopene gives them their scarlet shade and guards against cancer. It's best absorbed when tomatoes are cooked and served with a little fat.