Colour Yourself Healthy!
Eating a range of different coloured foods each day is not only great for flavour and variety, it helps to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling and looking your best!
The nutrients found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables (phytonutrients) are also some of the best dietary weapons against chronic disease and cancer.
For kids, eating bright and colourful foods helps to get them involved in healthy eating and cooking and provides them with the energy they need to play and learn.
Green vegetables have a powerful alkalising effect on the body, helping to reduce acidity and inflammatory conditions. Veggies and fruits containing chlorophyll, the pigment that makes them green, are also rich in vitamins and minerals and promote cleansing.
Vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cabbage and kale contain specific phytonutrients called isothiocyanates known to enhance detoxification, protect DNA and to slow or stop the progression of some tumours.
Lutein in green, leafy vegetables also has antioxidant effects, particularly on the eyes thereby helping to reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Good sources: Spinach, silverbeet, kale, asian greens, green beans, lettuce, cabbage, celery, cucumber, green capsicum, asparagus, parsley, coriander, basil, mint, avocados, broccoli, peas, green apples, green grapes, limes, kiwifruit.
Blue & Purple
Blue and purple fruits and veggies contain a range of antioxidant nutrients including anthocyanidins, a subclass of flavonoids.
These compounds have been found to promote heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation and more. They may also help to reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Resveratrol is a well known phytonutrient is found in grapes, which produce it as a defence against fungi. Wine is a major source of resveratrol and it has been shown to improve antioxidant defences, cellular health and cardiovascular function.
Good sources: Beetroot, red cabbage, eggplant, purple carrots, purple sweet potato, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, plums.
Carotenoids are the major type of phytonutrient found in yellow and orange vegetables, responsible for their bright pigments.
This class of nutrients promote healthy cellular development and good immune and eye health. The bioflavanoids and Vitamin C found in citrus fruits also pack a powerful immune-boosting punch.
Good sources: Lemons, corn, squash, grapefruit, pineapples, banana, yellow capsicum. Research shows carotenoids are best absorbed alongside a small amount of healthy fats in a meal.
Beta-carotene is found in many orange fruits and vegetables. It is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Beta-carotene is also one of the carotenoids believed to enhance immune health and may play a protective role in bone health.
Good Sources: Carrots, rockmelon, sweet potato, pumpkin, mangoes, oranges, peaches, nectarines, apricots, mandarins, papaya.
Another substance found in red fruits and vegetables called ellagic acid may help to reduce DNA damage, protect against certain cancers, reduce UV-induced skin ageing and provides antioxidant support.
Good sources: Tomato, red capsicum, radishes, red onion, strawberries, rhubarb, cherries, red grapes, raspberries, watermelon, red apples.
Allicin is a powerful phytonutrient found in garlic which helps to maintain heart health through cholesterol and blood pressure regulation. Compounds in garlic have also been found to reduce cancer risk and support immune health.
Quercetin is another type of flavonoid found in white foods such as onions which helps to fight inflammation and congestion.
Good sources: Garlic, onion, ginger, turnips, parsnips, turnips, mushrooms, cauliflower.
Rainbow Recipe Ideas
Funky Fruit Skewers for the Kids
*You will require 8 bamboo skewers
2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 strawberries, hulled
2 medium kiwifruit, cut into 8 pieces
2 medium bananas, peeled, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 medium (680g) rockmelon peeled, cut into 16 pieces
Place lemon juice in bowl. Add banana. Toss to coat.
Thread banana, rockmelon, strawberries and kiwifruit onto skewers. Serve plain or with some natural yoghurt. Makes 8 skewers.
You can also experiment and vary the fruits you use depending on your favourite flavours and seasonal availability!
Zesty Rainbow Slaw
2 large carrots, shredded
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 Tbsp chia or black sesame seeds
1 medium fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
¼ large head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
3 Tbs. grainy mustard
2 Tbs. raw honey
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. celtic sea salt/himalayan crystal salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Add the cabbage, carrots, fennel, onion, coriander, avocado and chia/sesame seeds and toss well to combine.
Mix dressing ingredients together and add to slaw. Season with more lime juice, salt, and black pepper, if desired. Makes approximately 6 serves.
Final Foodie Tip:
To get the most out of your fruit and veg, eat some of them raw and when cooking, lightly steam sauté them.
Avoid microwaving your food as it can significantly decrease the nutritional benefits.
- Understanding Acid/Alkaline and pH Balancing
- How to Detox With Food
- Supercharge Your Detox with Super Greens