Let’s just look past your usual greens for a minute. While we all know kale, spinach and broccoli are amazing for you, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables of a variety of different colours reduces the risk of chronic disease and illness. As well as being low in fat and calories, each group of coloured fruits and vegetables offers unique health benefits including important sources of nutrients that are vital to our health.
We’re taking a closer look at the delicious array of produce hitting the shelves this spring. Raw food enthusiasts, Raw Blend talk us through the benefits:
The fruits and vegetables that fall under the red/purple group, like grapes, red wine, grape juice, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and red apples all contain antho-blood-clot formation.
Red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon, contain the phytonutrient lycopene, which may prevent heart disease, lung disease and prostate Cancer.
Included in the orange group are carrots, mangoes, apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkin, acorn squash and sweet potatoes. All high in alpha and beta carotene, these foods may prevent cancer by blocking cell damage caused by oxidation.
This group targets the prevention of heart disease and includes the nutrient beta cryptothanxin. Included in the orange/yellow group is orange juice, papayas, tangerines, peaches and nectarines.
Here’s the group that includes spinach, mustard greens, turnips, collard greens, yellow corn, green peas, avocado and honeydew melon. Because these are the whole foods that contain lutein and zeaxanthin which target the eyes, they may help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
I love to spiralize my veggies to replace pasta or add extra colour to salads. Look out for heirloom carrots, yellow and green zucchinis, and golden beetroot for awesome colour, vitamins and minerals.
Don’t forget to add fruit to your main meals too – blueberries are great in salads, or add some delicious blood orange segments to your next spring chicken dish.
What’s your favourite way to eat a rainbow? Let me know in the comments below!