Eat the Rainbow
Eat the Rainbow – if you know what’s good for you!
We’ve known for years that a varied diet is good for us, without really thinking about it too much…
We all remember our parents and teachers keeping on at us when we were young, to ‘eat your fruit and veggies’! And I for one would run a million miles away from vegetables just because someone older and wiser was trying to make me eat them. But now I’m older I have to concede they had a point!
And…the point is we really shouldn’t wait until we’re older (although any time is a good time to start) to toe the line because there’s a huge amount of research out there, showing that the sooner we adopt a healthy lifestyle the better, because it really pays off in the long term!
Many people simply don’t have the time or the energy to think about eating up to ten servings or more a day of fruit and vegetables and so we tend to end up not bothering which isn’t a healthy way to live and we all know it!
So, what can we do to make our diets healthier? Really, anything we can do will ultimately improve our health. So, let’s take a step back and think about any small changes we can make daily and make these ‘qualitative’ changes i.e. really thinking about what’s good for us and adapting them into our diets.
The perfect answer to this is ‘eating the rainbow’. However, most of us don’t really know what the benefits are of fruits and vegetables, in order to make decisions effectively. So here goes…
Red – Concentrated amounts of antioxidants and carotenoids. These beauties contain desirable anti-inflammatories and have huge benefits for the immune and cardiovascular system.
Dietary Tips - Make a stir fry or Thai red curry and pack it full of red Peppers and Chillies or maybe a healthy salad or ‘Buddha Bowl’ with Radish, red Peppers, and red Lettuces. A smoothie is a great start to the day, pack it out with Raspberries, Strawberries and Redcurrants. Pickle some Radishes and Red Onion to accompany a variety of meals like Tacos or Burgers!
Blue/Purple – Rich in antioxidants/phytonutrients/polyphenols – alongside the usual antioxidant benefits, there are positive benefits for memory and mood too!
Dietary tips – Try a veggie tray bake and include roasted Beetroot and Aubergine. A berry blast smoothie filled with Blueberries and Elderberries or grill some prunes/plums with honey and serve with a little ice cream. Who said we had to forgo a little treat now and then?
Green – Brilliant for Cardio-vascular health and cognitive function with Magnesium, Potassium and Vitamin K and Tocopherols (forms of Vitamin E) that have antioxidant properties that help protect the body against free radicals that are so damaging to our cells and aging to the body.
Dietary tips – The possibilities are endless! Green Peppers, Broccoli, Mange Tout, Asparagus, herbs and Chillies all make great stir fry staples. Leafy green salad vegetables go with anything and dare we say it…Kale? Not many love this but it is packed with goodness and can be blitzed in a smoothie or added into a casserole without too many tears! Spinach and Coriander are amazing also as they can be added and cook down into many a curry or veggie chilli.
Yellow/Orange – The main benefit are from the Carotenoids; on our immune systems, in eye health and for healthy growth!
Dietary tips – Think Mangos, Peaches, Pineapple and Melon as they can all be blitzed into a morning smoothie. Lemons and oranges can be juiced. Red, yellow Peppers and Sweetcorn for stir fries or try a Thai Green Curry. Squashes and Sweet Potatoes are divine – try roasting them together and mash them up with a seeded red chilli…goes great with a quality cut of sirloin or rib-eye steak!
White/Brown – Overlooked as not particularly valuable in our diets, but we couldn’t be more wrong! Phytochemicals provide immense benefits to the cardiovascular system - lowering the risk of heart disease. The main Flavenol Quercetin is thought to play a big role in reducing inflammation and may impact pain levels in conditions like Osteoarthritis. More research needs to be done but it is thought that these vegetables may help reduce the risk of cancer.
Dietary tips – Onions and Garlic are immensely versatile being a base for curries and stews or casseroles. A fabulous trick to add interest to Tacos or Mexican wraps are quick, pickled pink Onions. Thinly slice a red Onion and blanch with hot water. Fill a clean jam jar with the Onions. Meanwhile warm about half a cup of white Wine or Cider Vinegar with added Mustard, Fennel and Coriander seeds with a dessert spoon of Sugar/Xylitol and a good couple of grinds of Sea Salt. When cooled, fill the jar and cover with lid. Can be used in an hour or keep for use. Parsnips are fab roasted or in stews. Artichokes are divine simply roasted or make a dip with spinach that can be spread on toast too! Saute in butter with capers with roasted fish.
Supplementation - if you're finding it difficult to add fruits and vegetables to your diet, supplementing with an Organic supplement such as Vitality Plus may be of benefit.
Taking a little time to add in some extra fruits and vegetables will ultimately improve our health in the longer term. Take a little tip and plan your weekly shop with a few meals in mind that can be prepared in advance and save you time during the week. Soups and stews or curries can all be made up with these fantastic rainbow vegetables and chilled for a couple of days or frozen for convenience.
We all lead busy lives these days and despite the best of intentions we probably don’t get the 5-10 portions of fruit and veg that governments often recommend.
Supplementation can help with this and here at Vitality Rocks we have your back! Check out our OrganiVita capsules for convenience with 12 fruits, vegetables and herbals; maybe try Organijuice with over 35 nutritious rainbow foods that can be added to smoothies for an intense hit! Or why not try both?
Go chase that Rainbow!