We’ve always been told that eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for our health, but how do we know we’re getting everything our bodies need? Check out our easy-to-read guide on how ‘eating a rainbow’ can ensure we receive all the nutrients we need to look good, feel great and reduce the risk of disease.
Relish in the Rainbow!
Do you remember your mother or grandmother cooking a meal, and it was simply ‘meat and three veg’ consisting of a protein portion with potatoes, carrots and peas? These vegetables may have been all she could access from her garden and although she would have had all good intentions, they provided limited nutrient variation. Luckily, with the advent of new technologies and fast transport, the opportunity to consume a vast array of fruit and vegetables from all over Australia, and the world, is now in abundance.
Whilst eating fruits and vegetables is always a good idea, focusing on eating a variety of colours can increase your nutrient uptake. Eating more ‘colours’ doesn’t just benefit your health, your food looks more inviting to eat. So if you’re cooking for fussy eaters, creating a ‘rainbow’ on the dinner plate might just be the strategy to help them eat more without them knowing they’re getting a whole pile of good stuff into their bodies.
Let’s have a look at some of the benefits derived from eating a rainbow:
RED tomatoes, capsicum, beets, radishes, apples, potatoes, grapefruit, cherries, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon supply the body with vitamins A & C, manganese and good antioxidants such as quercetin and lycopene. They can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, decrease inflammation, increase immunity, and are good for our eyes, skin and hair.
GREEN cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, capsicum, lettuces of all types, peas, asparagus, beans, zucchini, avocados, kiwi, apples, grapes and pears can supply a heap of B vitamins, along with vitamin K, folate, potassium and antioxidants such as chlorophyll, carotenoids and lutein. Green fruit and vegetables are key when it comes to reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, but are also good for our eyes, lungs, liver and overall healthy cell production.
ORANGE or YELLOW fruits and vegetables consisting of carrots, capsicum, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, oranges, bananas, apricots, cantaloupe, nectarines, peaches and pineapple supply vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, folate, and lutein, alpha and beta-carotene antioxidants. Once again, these help with reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, provide good nutrients for eyes, skin and hair, increase immunity and decrease inflammation.
BLUE or PURPLE eggplants, cabbage, potatoes, blueberries, blackberries and plums are filled with B vitamins and powerful antioxidants such as anthocyanin, resveratrol and flavonoids, all of which can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, protect cells from oxidative damage, improve memory and slow down the ageing process.
WHITE vegetables including cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, parsnips and turnips possess vitamins C, K, folate, potassium and powerful antioxidants such as allicin, quercetin and anthoxanthins. These can, once again, be pivotal in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, protect cells from damage, increase immunity and promote good eye, skin and bone health.
It’s clear that eating an array of colourful fruits and vegetables can dramatically reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, along with assisting in improving the body’s ability to fight disease and the ageing process – that’s always a good thing, right?
We hope that providing you with this insight into how good ‘relishing in the rainbow’ is for your health will inspire you to eat more fruits and vegetables. A further tip though, always try to source fresh organic or spray-free produce as much as possible. Chemicals used on some commercially-grown fruits and vegetables can inhibit their nutrient content and therefore slow down any healing process your body is trying to do.
Happy Eating! From the WonderFoods Team…