Colour Code Your Diet For A Healthier You!
Ever wondered why simply looking at a bowl of fresh strawberries makes you feel satiated? Or why just the sight of a slice of chocolate cake is enough to make you drool? Yes, we all know that how food looks is just as important as it tastes, but did you know that colour coding your diet can help you get all your nutrients, minerals and fibres? Eating healthy was never so much fun!
The secret to making sure you get the most out of this diet plan is eating a variety of colours every day. Aim to eat two brightly coloured fruits and/or vegetables at both lunch and dinner and at least one for breakfast.
Despite knowing how good greens are for us, how many of us really bother to make sure we get a healthy dose of them every day? The next time you’re shopping for veggies, pick out at least three separate green vegetables and make sure you eat them generously.
Health Splash: The green comes from chlorophyll, which is believed to be a powerful cancer-fighting agent when broken down by digestion. All green vegetables are super rich in vitamins, minerals and a variety of disease-fighting plant chemicals. Some of these plant chemicals also help prevent muscular degeneration.
Stack ‘Em Up: Remember, when you pick your greens, the darker the better… add spinach leaves, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and asparagus to your weekly veggie dose. Sautée a mixture of beans, broccoli and green capsicum in olive oil and sprinkle a dash of mixed herbs for a tasty and healthy super dish!
Most fruits and veggies of this colour are popular on their own, but that doesn’t mean you are getting the most of them. Luckily, there is a wide variety of goodies on offer in this colour group.
Health Splash: Tomatoes get their red colour from lycopene, a powerful antioxidant linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The same component is also found in pink grapefruit and watermelon. Apples boast of a wide range of vitamins and minerals—and are low in calories. Strawberries, raspberries and cranberries get their red colour from anthocyanins, antioxidant plant pigments that help work against cancer as well.
Stack ‘Em Up: Interestingly, when tomatoes are heated or processed to produce a tomato sauce or tomato paste, spaghetti sauce or even ketchup, the lycopene becomes more active and beneficial. Add extra tomato sauce to your pasta, snack on watermelon and have half a pink grapefruit for breakfast. You could also serve cranberry sauce with poultry and enjoy a glass of cranberry juice. Berries can be eaten as is or, even better, added to a smoothie, sliced over cereal, in yoghurt, in salsa or mixed together for a delicious and fresh dessert.
A dash of blue in your wardrobe instantly has a cooling effect, especially in the summer. The same applies to your diet as well.
Health Splash: The blue pigment created by anthocyanins ranges from the deep blue/purple in foods such as grapes and eggplants to blueberries, blackberries and plums. The anthocyanins in grapes might be one of the reasons red wine is thought to lower the risk of heart attack.
Stack ‘Em Up: Fresh summer blueberries are best enjoyed in smoothies, as toppings on frozen yoghurts or on top of cereal and pancakes. Eggplant can be grilled, roasted or baked, added to sandwiches, made into a dip or even used in a vegetarian lasagne.
The colour of the summer, orange is synonymous with freshness, natural goodness and pure unadulterated energy.
Health Splash: Orange foods are sources of alpha and beta-carotene associated with cancer prevention, skin rejuvenation and are super-high in antioxidants which help maintain youthful, healthy skin. Sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, mangoes and cantaloupes make the cut as well.
Stack ‘Em Up: Sweet potatoes are best enjoyed steamed with some lemon and pepper. You can bake or mash them instead of white potatoes or experiment a little and try sweet potato fries and a sweet potato salad.
Carrots are best enjoyed as they are or in a delicious and refreshing glass of juice. Since it’s the season of mangoes, try and get as much of them as possible. Eat ‘em raw, make a tasty mango smoothie or add them to your salads or chutneys.