Eat the Rainbow
We’ve all heard the saying “eat the rainbow” it’s a catchy phrase, but you may ask why and what does it actually mean for our health?
One of the most important things you can do to improve your health overall, protect your brain from decline and keep your body functioning optimally is to eat a brightly coloured plant rich diet.
Plant rich means that the majority of your diet consists of plant foods while at the same time adding an adequate amount of quality protein such as grass-fed meats; wild fish; organic eggs, and healthy fats such as avocados; coconut and nuts.
Plant foods are absolutely necessary and healthy for a number of reasons:
- Nutrients - Fruits & veggies are a great source of a variety of vitamins and minerals needed for our bodily mechanisms to function properly.
- Phytonutrients - These are natural chemicals found in plant foods, used to protect the living plant from threat - such as insects, fungi and bacteria. Phytonutrients provide our bodies with lots of benefits, including antioxidants and defence against illness. Examples of phytonutrients include: flavonoids (in red berries and citrus fruits), resveratrol (in red wine) and phytoestrogens (in flaxseeds and soybeans).
- Fibre - The fibre in fruits & veggies help to move food through the digestive process and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
- They tend to be low in saturated fats and calories.
- They are tasty!! And the variety is plentiful.
- Healthy gut microbiome - The fibre and different phytonutrient compounds feed the multitude of different gut bacteria, and we know that having a diverse microflora is beneficial for optimal health.
The colours of different fruits and vegetables are an indicator of the phytonutrients they contain. By varying the type and colour of fruits and veggies, you’re ingesting a spectrum of different beneficial chemicals to super-charge your immunity, reduce inflammation, help in preventing many chronic diseases and slow down the aging process.
Quick key to help you navigate nature’s colour coding:
Carotenoids, lycopene, polyphenols, anthocyanins for example: red apples, beets, red cabbage, cherries, cranberries
|Beta carotene, Bioflavonoids for example: apricots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, corn|
|Zeaxanthin, lutein for example: artichokes, asparagus, avocados, green apples, green beans, broccoli and kiwifruit|
Blue / purple
Anthocyanins, phenolics for example: blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, eggplant, sweet potatoes
White / brown
Allylic sulphides for example: potatoes, onion, mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic
Now, we have all heard of getting your 5 a day, but the optimal amount of vegetables is at least 10 servings per day with a 1/2 cup being one serving. That may seem rather daunting to some, so here are some tips to get more colours in your daily diet.
Use a product such as the BODY BOOST containing a select blend of currants, beetroot, kiwifruit, wheat and barley grass, broccoli sprouts, vitamins, minerals and the antioxidant Enzogenol®. This product will go a long way to helping you increase your colour intake as well as your health.
Smoothies - The possibilities are endless! Consider:
- Veggies: beetroot, celery, parsley, cucumber, frozen spinach / broccoli / cauliflower.
- Fruits: frozen banana / berries / pineapple. Plus kiwi and avocado.
- Add a scoop of the BODY BOOST.
- I also use smoothies as an opportunity to add in lots of other little goodies: seeds (Pumpkin, flax & chia), collagen and almond butter.
Sautéed or steamed veggies - these can make a great addition to breakfast. I like to add sautéed spinach, tomatoes and mushroom to scrambled eggs. Or steamed asparagus. Add fresh green onion and avocado. Yum!
Add fruit to your cereal, porridge or yoghurt.
Overnight oats - combine oats, dried fruits, nuts and seeds with milk of choice and let it sit overnight in the fridge. In the morning, add fresh fruit – such as berries, banana, pomegranate. A scoop of the BODY BOOST will add red colour, fun for kids.
Lunch & dinner
Aim to fill half of your plate with veggies. Go for a colourful plate!
Salads - This is the easiest way to get fresh nutrients and phytonutrients. My favourite salads include: greens, tomato, red pepper, avocado, mushroom and pomegranate. You can add a boiled egg, plus seeds and nuts for added nutrients and texture.
Soups - The variety of vegetables you can add to soups are endless. Soups are great for freezing, to have nutrient-rich food available when you don’t have time to cook or shop for food. If freezing, consider undercooking the vegetables slightly, as they will cook a bit when reheating. To add an extra boost of nutrients consider blending a scoop of BODY BOOST in.
Stir fry - This is a great way to cook quickly, retain nutrients and consume a wide variety of vegetables. Some ideas of what to throw in: onion and/or spring onion, mushroom, peas (in the pod), pepper, broccoli, baby corn, carrot, zucchini, bok choy, bean sprouts. Add tofu, prawns, egg or meat for protein. Soy sauce, garlic, ginger and/or chili peppers for added flavour.
Steamed vegetables - My favourite is asparagus. Other ideas include: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, artichoke, zucchini, green beans. Top with a squeeze of lemon.
Mexican food - It’s amazing how many fresh items can be packed into a taco or burrito! Some ideas: lettuce, tomato, avocado, red onion, garlic and jalapeño pepper, lime juice and salsa. Add sour cream and grated cheese, with black beans, minced meat or fish for protein.
To be sure that you get your 10 portions a day, have a shot of the BODY BOOST, easily mixed with water to get those nutrients in.