Keeping track of nutrition and health trends can be challenging these days. With new advice being issued all the time and recommendations constantly evolving, there’s one factor that remains constant throughout, and that’s fruit and vegetables. While we might question the importance of meat, sugar and fats in our diet, no one has ever said that we should eat fewer vegetables.
Eating the rainbow is all about including as much colour in your diet as possible through a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. There’s lots of reasons to eat from a big range of vibrant vegetation and getting your daily dose of vitamins is one, but there’s much more to your five-a-day than just vitamins and minerals.
Phytochemicals are the compounds in plants that are responsible for their colour and provide them with protection from disease. It’s believed that phytochemicals can also protect humans from things like cancer, inflammation, oxidisation and infection.
Phytochemicals can be found in food like blueberries, cranberries, cherries, apple, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and broccoli. And while these foods are most potent when eaten fresh and raw, tomatoes are supposedly best eaten after heating which allows our bodies to access a phytochemical called lycopene.
Bioflavonoids are also important for flower colouration, producing yellow or red/blue pigmentation in petals designed to attract pollinating animals. They also happen to be super-antioxidants.
Bioflavonoids support strong cellular growth and, according to some medical services, even deliver an anti-carcinogenic effect. They contribute to a healthy heart and help prevent atherosclerosis and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Include plenty of red peppers, berries, parsley, citrus fruits, Ginkgo biloba, broccoli, dark chocolate, bananas, onions, brussel sprouts, mangoes, garlic, spinach and tea to get a good helping of bioflavonoids in your diet.
Here are just some of the ways that the various colours in your diet can help protect you from disease and promote better health.