Hardly Beyond the Pale: Top 5 Healthful White Foods

Pigmentally-challenged foods get a bad rap. While it's generally true that a plate filled with fresh produce, meats and grains of vibrant hues is likely to be more healthful, that doesn't mean naturally plain white fare is always already bad for you. Here are five white foods that are just as good as (or better than) other rainbow comestibles:

5. Weisser Spargel (White Asparagus). Traditionally grown underground to preclude the development of chlorophyll (and green color), white asparagus has a sweeter taste than the dark green and purple varieties. Despite being devoid of color, white asparagus is not deficient in nutrients; it's a good source of flavonoids and folates and can be help alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal disease, including IBS.

4. Cauliflower. If you're tired of hearing that you should eat more cruciferous vegetables because you can't stand broccoli, consider cauliflower as a more palatable alternative. This vegetable has gotten much press in recent years as a healthful substitute for mashed potatoes and as the key to constructing a low-carb pizza crust. Cauliflower also has lots of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids and a more than respectable amount of fiber to keep that digestive tract humming.

3. Onions. Once at a party, I watched as some people bribed this drunk kid to eat an entire onion as one would an apple. Little did they know I would have done it for free because onions are so darn good that they should be consumed plain in toto like fruit. In addition to being a good source of vitamin C and folic acid, they also boast high levels of antioxidants, lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots.

2. Milk. One percent, 2 percent, skim, whole: Milk contains tons of vitamins (A, B-12, D) and minerals (calcium, phosphorous) any way you pour it. Its protein-to-carbohydrate ratio makes it a near-perfect recovery food and some studies suggest moderate consumption actually helps burn abdominal fat.

1. Garlic. Gosh, where do I begin? Entire books have been written on the health benefits of garlic, which include but are not limited to: acting as a potent anti-flammatory, reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, reducing risk of various cancers and enhancing iron metabolism. But most important of all, garlic keeps vampires at bay.

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