EAT THE RAINBOW

With isolation nearly over, it's time to get back into the swing of things. Let’s start with lighter, healthier eating. And what better time to start, than in spring. Let’s drop those bags of chips and blocks of chocolates and let’s fill our plates with a rainbow of seasonal fresh produce!

 What’s in a rainbow?

Fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green and white/brown. Each fruit and vegetable group hold specific nutrients and phytochemicals.

RED
Red plant foods contain antioxidants such as lycopene, flavanol and anthocyanin. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Foods in this group are high in vitamin C

PURPLE/BLUE
The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. It provides a range of vitamins and minerals

ORANGE/YELLOW
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are known for its
Carotenoids, it is what gives this group their vibrant colour. Beta carotene is one of these and is converted to vitamin a in the body. The foods in this group are a good source of folate and vitamin C

BROWN/WHITE:
White fruits and vegetables contain a variety of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin which is found in garlic, which is also known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. bananas and potatoes are also a good source of potassium.

GREEN:
Green fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals and indoles. Some of the leafy greens in this food bracket contain iron and folate, which is an important B- Vitamin.

We need to aim for two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables every day. Don’t be confronted by the amount because I promise you it is easier than it seems!

So, what is a serve?

You need at least 5 serves of vegetables a day. You want to aim for two or three of them to be a part of your main meal, so lunch or dinner. One serve of vegetables is roughly about 75 grams.

Don’t forget, an onion is a vegetable, so that’s already 1 serve right there! Think about a salad for lunch, you could have 1 whole tomato, 1 whole cucumber, and about 1 cup of leafy salad leave, that’s already 3 serves there, if not more. Come dinner time, and all you need to do is eat 2-3 florets of broccoli, ½ a sweet potato and you are done for the day!

With your fruit, you will need at least 2 serves of fruit per day. Remember, one serve being about 75grams. That could be a handful of strawberries in your cereal for breakfast, a banana for an afternoon snack.

Eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be a chore. Eating your fruit and vegetables and aiming to eat as many different colours as you can means our bodies will receive more variety and a better mix of vitamins, minerals and nutrients known as phytochemicals. You will start to feel much better physically and mentally. 

So reap the benefits of the rainbow, and aim for at least 2 serving of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day!

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