Eat the Rainbow

With less than 1 in 10 adults meeting their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, it’s no wonder that we are getting sicker and developing preventable diseases. What’s even more scary, is that with the growing number of “convenient” foods and our increasingly busy lifestyles, we are unintentionally teaching children these habits. Have you noticed that diseases such as diabetes and obesity are on the rise in kids? It’s pretty scary, right?

Fruit and vegetables are always available, and the fresh produce is always available each season. There are so many beautiful fruit and vegetables that we can incorporate into our day, so what’s stopping us?

Let me give you a little breakdown of the benefits of Eating the Rainbow (my life motto) and some simple ways to incorporate them into your daily diet. Aim for a variety of these colours throughout the day, eating at least 3-5 cups in total.

RED

Contain Anthocyanin’s:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Support immunity
  • Protect DNA
  • Anti-inflmmatory
  • Protect prostate health
  • Support vascular health
  • Protect the heart, liver and the brain

How to include these foods?

-Add some red to your salads, such as tomatoes (cherry tomatoes if you like something a little more sweet), pomegranate seeds or goji berries

-Use tomato based sauces in your cooking. Cooked tomatoes actually contain more bioavailable lycopene (a potent anti-oxidant constituent) than raw tomatoes.

-Red capsicum can be added into any salad or sauce. Roasted stuffed capsicums are a quick and delicious meal. Roast and have it as a side dish with a warm meal. They also make a great snack on their own or with some dip. Red capsicums are the highest plant source in Vitamin C.

-Other red foods include berries (snack on them or add them to a smoothie ), watermelon, red apples, plums, red potatoes, rhubarb, radicchio, radish, beetroot, beans (kidney), red onions.

Aliz (36)

ORANGE

Contain Beta-carotene:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Protect our cells
  • Support immune system
  • Protect eye health
  • Protect our skin
  • Source of vitamin A
  • Supports reproductive health
  • Anti-cancer

How to include these foods?

-Have sweet potato instead of white potato (check out my sweet potato snack recipe here)

-Use turmeric powder in your cooking for extra nutrition benefits. I add turmeric powder into curries, soups, eggs, even to season roast veggies. Always add a sprinkle of black pepper and have it with some form of fat to maximise its absorption and health benefits.

-Juice fresh oranges and carrots and have them daily when you feel like something other than water (these are always available and cheap!)

-Pumpkin soup is always a treat!

-Roast pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots and have them  for a nice, warming dinner.

-Snack on seasonal fruit such as oranges, persimmons, apricots, cantaloupe, mango or papaya.

-NOTE- if you are vegan, please ensure that you eat a high amount of beta-carotene rich foods as plant sources are not as readily available as animal sources of vitamin A. Some people may have difficulty converting beta-carotene to vitamin A, so this is something to be mindful of when on a plant based diet.

Screenshot 2018-07-23 15.31.23

YELLOW

Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflmmatory
  • Suports cognitive function
  • Supports eye health
  • Supports heart heath
  • Supports skin health
  • Protects vascular health

How to include these foods?

– Have a banana as a snack, add it as a topping for a smoothie, yoghurt or on toast with some peanut butter

-Snack apples or pears

-Corn on the cob can be a delicious and easy treat, or add corn kernels into a salad

-Ginger. This superfood can be brewed into a tea, used in stir fires, soups, or used in marinades.

-Pineapples and papaya are great as a snack, in smoothies or can be juiced. They contain bromelain which are great natural digestive enzymes and can help support digestion.

-Lemons, natures superfood! High in vitamin C, anti-oxidants. Squeeze them onto your salad with some olive oil, juice half a lemon in your bottle of water, or add it to a fish dish to help neutralise the flavour.

-Yellow capsicums can be used the same way as the red ones mentioned above.

Screenshot 2018-07-23 15.39.32.png

PURPLE

Contain Resveratrol:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammtory
  • Protects our cells
  • Supports cognitive function
  • Cardiovascular protection
  • Great to consume in times of stress as they help protect our brain cells during this time

How to include these foods?

-Blueberries, grapes, prunes, plums and figs can make great, quick snacks, or add a handful in your breakfast cereal or yoghurt

-Purple carrots can be roasted, added to soups, grates, spiralised or eaten raw

-Roast purple sweet potato, eggplant as a side dish

-Use a variety of green and purple kale in smoothies, soups, or salads

-Shred some purple cabbage and sauté, or add into  coleslaw salad

Screenshot 2018-07-23 15.35.56

WHITE/BROWN

Allicin, Lignans and Tannins

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-microbial
  • Supports liver function
  • Supports heart health
  • Helps maintain hormone balance
  • Supports gastrointestinal health
  • Protects the immune system

How to include these foods?

-Add raw cacao into your smoothies, or your choice of milk for a chocolate treat

-Add mushrooms into stir fries, or chop them up into an omelette

-Add white sautéd onions into any cooked dish

-Hummus dip to go with your capsicum and carrot snacks

-Other food sources include garlic, coconut, apples, beans, cauliflower, dates, legumes, sauerkraut, pears, seeds and nuts, tahini (this makes a fabulous salad dressing

Screenshot 2018-07-23 15.31.44

GREEN

Catechin and Phytosterols

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Supports liver function
  • Supports heart health
  • Helps maintain hormone balance
  • Supports gastrointestinal health
  • Suports cognitive function
  • Supports skin health

How to include these foods?

-Greens are so abundant, they can be added into quite literally everything

-Make a smoothie with 1/2 an avocado and a handful of leafy greens such as spinach or kale

-Use leafy greens in salads, with you eggs in the morning, in a wrap or sandwich, stir fries or soups

-Broccoli, peas, brussels sprouts can be steamed or sautéed with any dish

-Snack on snow peas, sugar snap peas or celery sticks

-Snack on green apples, cucumber or grapes

-Spiralise zucchini and have instead of pasta

-Use a variety of herbs such as parley, coriander, basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano in your dishes for extra greens and nutrients.

-Add at least 2 cups of greens into your daily diet for maximum benefit

Screenshot 2018-07-23 15.31.58

 

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