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Plant a garden this spring, pick veggies and fruits this summer, and count your savings in the fall

Back in the 1940s, they had victory gardens. In the 1970s, there was the back to the land movement. And these days, it's edible landscaping.

Whatever you call it, growing your own food is a great way to save money, whether you grow food in containers on your deck, are part of a community garden effort, or even if you grow your plants right out front where everyone can see them, alongside your roses.

Eating more fruits and veggies is a great way to stay healthy – they're loaded with vitamins and minerals our bodies need. The best way to make sure you get a good range of fruits and veggies in your diet is to eat a "rainbow" – it's also a great way to plan your edible landscaping.

Red veggies and fruits include strawberries, tomatoes, watermelons, raspberries, apples, radishes, beets and red peppers. These contain lycopene and anthocyanins, which strengthen collagen proteins in the body, improve memory, and prevent lung, prostate and stomach cancer.

Orange veggies and fruits include carrots, squash, pumpkins, melons and sweet potatoes. These healthy nuggets contain beta carotene and liminoids, which protect against chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. They can also help reduce the risk of cataracts and lung cancer, and decrease cholesterol levels.

Yellow fruits and veggies like yellow peppers, corn, beans and yellow squash contain liminoids, beta carotene and zeaxanthin, which helps protect against chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. They are also good for the eyes and can decrease high cholesterol and help prevent tumors in the colon, *** and prostate glands.

Green fruits and veggies contain lutein, saponins and glucosinolates, which help preserve your eyesight, and maintain heart and skin health, as well as help prevent prostate cancer and lower lipid levels. Get your green by eating spinach, collard greens, broccoli, kale, tomatillos, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage and bak choy. 

Blueberries, grapes and plums fall into the blue group, and contain anthocyanins. These helpful fruits can help strengthen your collagen protein, lower you blood pressure, and prevent colon, cervical and prostate cancer. 

Last in the rainbow are the purple veggies like purple cabbage, purple onion and eggplant. These all contain anthocyanins and flavonoids, which can strengthen your collagen proteins and prevent cancer, as well as provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. 

You may spend a few dollars on seeds, plants and supplies each spring, but the fruits and vegetables you produce will save you hundreds of dollars each year on your grocery bill. 

Published Mar 22 2012, 11:49 AM by moneycoach
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