Eating well is not meant to be complicated. However, despite all the diet information we have at our fingertips, only 5% of us are reaching the optimal intake of 2 serves of fruit and 5-6 serves of vegetables each day, which means we’re missing out on vital nutrients and all the associated health benefits.
If you want to improve your diet without too much fuss, mother nature has created a fail-safe, colour-coded system.
The different hues of fruit and vegetables each represent a specific dose of nutrients. The vibrant colours you see walking around a produce market are derived from phytonutrients, a plant compound that contains flavonoids. These powerful antioxidants are what give food its visual and nutritional oomph.
No individual colour is better than another, they are designed to work together. Eating the rainbow will not only make your plate look more appealing, it’s an easy way to increase your daily intake of important nutrients and reap all the rewards nature has to offer.
Here are a few ideas to create a multi-coloured diet:
Green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale and broccoli sprouts are a rich source of both vitamin K and folate. Vitamin K supports blood clotting, which helps our body heal cuts and grazes. Meanwhile, folate plays an important role in children’s growth and development, and as adults it enhances our immunity and helps combat that constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
You can enjoy green veggies and sprouts in a salad, baked kale chips or if you’re short on time, add a sprinkle of our broccoli sprout powder to your favourite smoothie! It contains glucoraphanin, the precursor to sulforaphane which boosts broccoli’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Orange vegetables are high in beta-carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A. Adding carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin to your daily meals will help regulate your immune system, support your vision and give your skin a healthy glow. Depending on the season, you can roast these veggies as part of a warm salad or when the days cool down, blend them up into comforting soups.
Red vegetables will brighten up any meal. Tomatoes contain the powerful nutrient lycopene, a potent antioxidant that can help protect the body’s cells from damage. Other red foods like red cabbage, cranberries and adzuki beans contain anthocyanins, another important antioxidant. If you’re looking for some inspiration our Adzuki Bean Burrito Bowl is a great place to start. (Check out our recipe by clicking here).
BLUE AND PURPLE
Adding blue and purple vegetables will turn a simple meal into a visual masterpiece. Purple radish, eggplant and plums are all nourishing options filled with antioxidant activity, and scientific studies have discovered that blueberries carry an added bonus of anti-inflammatory properties.
Eating well does not have to be hard or boring. It’s time to unleash your inner artist and use nature’s palate to get creative in the kitchen.