If you want to be physically and psychologically healthy, you need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It’s as simple as that. The plethora of phytonutrients they contain, like polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and fibre, are essential for your body. The problem is, many of us eat well below the recommended intakes and yet, there is so much evidence out there detailing the benefits of plant-based foods. Most of us aren’t eating enough phytonutrients of every colour.
You know the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables and it’s actually not as difficult as you might think. Small changes like cooking at home using fresh ingredients rather than eating out, allow you to pick the fruit and veg you like, as well as experiment with new tastes and textures. Oh, and you’ll notice the financial benefits in your pocket, too!
Most of us forget that food can be prepared and cooked in different ways to give variety. For example, raw, steamed, boiled, blended, and mashed are all ways you can prepare the fruit and vegetable for your meal. And, don’t forget to season, too, to bring out extra flavours!
Our table below highlights different foods according to their colours. Each of these colours are associated with different health benefits and can help you to incorporate each of them into your daily diet. That way, you’ll be sure to be getting the polyphenols your body needs to reduce the risk of chronic disease, as well as keep your gut healthy and happy.
Colourful foods and their benefits
|Red||apples cherries, redcurrants, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, red onion||anthocyanins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins||anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activity|
|Yellow||lemons, golden delicious apples, bananas, yellow onions, yellow bell peppers||bioflavonoids, hesperidin, rutin, naringenin, nobiletin||protects against stomach ulcers, helps regulate blood sugar levels|
|Orange||apricots, oranges (fruit), peaches, carrots, blood oranges, nectarines, yukon potatoes, turmeric||flavanols, phenolic acids, hesperidin, circuminoids||anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activity, cardioprotective|
|Green||spinach, swiss chard, green tea, olives, celery, asparagus, green apples||flavonoids, epigallocatechin gallate, isoflavones, tannins, vitexin||anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activity, cardioprotective|
|Blue||blueberries, grapes, blackberries, prunes, raisins, plums||flavonoids, procyanidins, flavanols, phenolic acids, stilbenes||antioxidant activity, cancer prevention, lowers cholesterol, improves mood and cognitive function|