We’re not talking about fruity sweets here, but rather, do you get a rainbow of fruit and vegetables in your weight loss diet?
We know that NHS advice states we should get at least 5 varieties of fruit and veg into our meals each day and should make up about a third of our daily food intake, but did you know that getting a variety of colours is also beneficial to your health?
Eating a diverse range of colourful fruit and veg can be an easy way to get a complete range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive and succeed on your weight loss diet!
The colours in fruit and veg are caused by phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, bugs and other threats. But each colour also indicates the specific nutrients housed in those plants.
Whilst fruit and veg can’t necessarily heal ailments, getting a boost in natural vitamins and minerals can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart in good health, if you regularly get at least five a day. Below is an idea of how each colour could help with your health:
The antioxidant lycopene gives red fruit and veg their colour. Lycopene is more easily absorbed when it’s cooked (such as a tomato sauce) and there has been research to suggest that it can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Orange and Yellow
We all know that most orange and yellow fruit and veg contain high levels of vitamin C, but they also contain beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body, which in turn can promote healthier vision (who’s been told they could see in the dark if they ate enough carrots?!) and promotes new cell growth. As well as this, eating citrus fruit can increase blood flow and reduce your risk of stroke.
We’ve all been told to eat our greens – and whoever told you is right! Greens are packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. The pigment chlorophyll gives greens their colour and the benefits of eating green fruit and veg are numerous. From helping maintain strong bones and teeth, adding iron to your system, promoting vision health and even potentially reducing the risk of some types of cancer.
Blue and Purple
Blue and purple fruit and veg contain anthocyanins, which have been studied for their anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. It can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure, due to the high level of nitrates.
So you’ve seen the potential benefits and want to start upping your intake of fruit and veg, but how can you do that?
Add fruit to breakfast! Try adding berries to porridge or cereal or popping some sliced banana on wholemeal toast.
An easy way to add more veg and fruit is to make it the main part of your dish! Make a delicious vegetable-based soup, hearty Buddha bowl or a healthy salad full of colourful veg like cucumber, tomatoes, sweetcorn, carrots and peppers.
Try making the rainbow in one meal. Get as many colours on your plate as you can at main meals and make a beautiful dish for all the family.
Want more food tips? Come in and see our Doctor or Dietitian in clinic who can tailor your dietary advice for you in a 1-to-1 consultation.