Sometimes eating healthy can seem complicated and confusing. Beyond the recommended servings of fruits and veggies, everyone has something to say about what, when and how you should eat. One simple thing that can help you get a better understanding of how to eat in a more balanced way is colour!
Discovering the amazing and unique health benefits of every fruit and veggie out there might not be the easiest task. Luckily, eating a variety of fruits and veggies is as easy as opening up a box of colouring pencils.
Beet, raspberry, peach, banana and honey smoothie.
Everyone has heard the sayings about tomatoes and their cancer fighting powers, blueberries and their high antioxidant levels and of course “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Believe it or not, these sayings actually hold some truth to them. The plants that you eat each hold unique properties that can be beneficial to your health in many different ways.
“The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”
Deep reds, purples and blues
Have you ever heard of anthocyanins? It’s what gives some of the sweetest fruits and most earthy roots and veggies, their beautiful, pigmented, red, blue or purple colour. Not only do they contain great nutrients like folic acid and fiber, but their benefits are so great that experts have started bottling it up to sell as a supplement! What’s important for us to remember on the simple side of things is that fruits, veggies and roots high in anthocyanins also contain great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that should be included in our daily diet.
Dark leafy greens
Kale, spinach and other varieties of dark leafy greens commonly found in your spring mix from the local grocery store contain high levels of folate, vitamin A and C, iron, fiber and antioxidants. Without going into the specifics, this colour group of foods should be an important component of your daily diet, helping you fight disease and keep healthy.
Remember – everything in moderation.
Oranges and Yellows
Generally, when we talk about yellow and orange fruits and veggies, we think of foods that are high in vitamin C like yellow sweet peppers and oranges. However, there is much more to this colour category. Orange pigmented fruits, veggies and roots contain beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A), an antioxidant great for skin and vision. So don’t be afraid of adding that roasted sweet potato to your next big salad bowl, it holds a ton of nutrients that your body will thank you for later.
Learn from experts
As I always say, I am not an expert on this subject and I only share what I have learned through talking with my healthcare professionals and through my own research. If this subject interests you, here are a few good reads on similar topics surrounding food and nutritional science from people who know a lot more than I do:
- Eat To Beat Disease – William W. Li, MD
- Whole: Rethinking The Science of Nutrition – T. Colin Campbell
- The Way We Eat Now – Bee Wilson