Adding Colours to Your Plate is Important
Did you know for optimal health it's important to eat 5 different colours of fruits & vegetables per day?
Fruits & vegetables come in a variety of different colours and each one contains different nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients. The phrase 'Eat the Rainbow' really is true to get all the health benefits out of your food. A general rule of thumb, the darker the colour, the more vitamins, minerals and nutrients it contains. That's why spinach & kale are more nutritious then iceberg lettuce and sweet/purple potatoes are healthier then white potatoes.
If you live in North America you probably notice a lot of beige in your diet. Crackers, cookies, chips, bread, ect. All highly processed, cheap, convenient and chemically enhanced to taste great and have you craving for more. Hence why you also see the highest rates of diabetes, high cholesterol & hypertension here.
This is why its more important now then ever to ensure you're eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables each day to reap the most health benefits from your food.
Colours and Their Meaning:
Red - A pigment called Lycopene. A powerful antioxidant and linked to preventing cancer, heart attacks and protects the prostate in men. Red fruits and vegetable are also rich in flavonoids folate and vitamin C. Red Grapes, Cranberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Guava, Pink Grapefruit.
Purple/Blue - Highest in antioxidants, good for your heart and can help keep you young. Helps decrease apatite, prevents heart disease and fights off unwanted inflammation. Also has the highest amount of phytochemicals per food. Blueberries, Blackberries, Plums, Prunes, Figs, Eggplant, Red/Purple Cabbage
Green - Green leafy vegetables are high in Chlorophyll, sooths digestion, helps detox the body & can reduce carcinogenic properties from our liver. They also contain antioxidants, vitamin K, folic acid and potassium. Bok Choy, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Dark Leafy Green Lettuces, Cabbage, Green Apples or Green Grapes.
Green/Yellow - Rich in lutein which is good for your eyesight and high in vitamin C. Avocado, Kiwi, Spinach, Pistachios.
Yellow/Orange - Contains carotene which is rich on vitamin A, retinol (helps prevents wrinkles) and can purify the body. Also good for the immune system and eye sight. Oranges, Mangos, Apricots, Carrots, Pumpkin, Squash.
White/Brown - Helps protect again certain cancers, keeps your bones strong and good for the heart. Cauliflower, Garlic, Onions, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Daikon Radishes.
The next time you go shopping, take a look at your cart and see if you can add some colour into the mix. If everything is green go back and swap something out for an orange or red fruit/vegetable. To get the full benefits of all the nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients and we need to ensure we are eating all the colours of the rainbow daily.
Confused how to switch up your meals? Start the day with a green smoothie, adding berries to your oatmeal, or scramble your eggs with red peppers, mushrooms, carrots or other veg. Skip the bagel. For lunch, try out a colourful salad that has a ton of different veg in it. Snack on different fruits you normally wouldn't eat (Guava, Papaya, Kiwi, Figs) and for dinner have a soup/chili packed with vegetables, pad thai, stir-fry or create your own Buddha bowl.