Hey There Friends! How’s it goin?
If you’ve seen my goals for this week, you’d know that I’m taking a much needed look at things I’ve been neglecting recently, like my diet.
I try to eat healthfully as often as I can. I drink lots of water, eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. I try to stay away from fast foods, sodas and red meats.
But is it enough?
Do I really have a “Healthy Diet”?
Am I eating right for my body? Should I become a vegetarian or a vegan or a pescatarain or start eating gluten free or paleo or…GAHHHH I don’t even know 😯
When you really consider all the different possibilities, don’t you just want to rip your hair out?!?!
But I like my hair and I’m sure you love yours too. So let’s not be too hasty 😉
It’ll take way more than one post to delve into all the things that make up a healthy diet so how about we start somewhere simple:
Eating a Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables
Almost everyone knows that you’re supposed to eat fruits and vegetables. That was probably the second thing you learned in the kitchen…right after ‘Don’t play with knives’ 😉
But I digress…
While eating fruits and vegetables is most definitely a key part of maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, did you know that it’s important to eat all colours of fruits and vegetables?
If you eat the same fruits and vegetables with every meal, it probsbly isn’t doing as much good as you think it is 😕 .
Why should you Eat the Rainbow?
Fruits and vegetables get their array of colours from something called phytochemicals or phytonutrients which have health benefits that go beyond what we get from essential nutrients. Basically, they’re kind of like super-nutrients 😆
Research has shown that phytochemicals have various disease-preventing properties like:
- Strengthening the immune system
- Lowering the risk for certain cancers
- Helping ward off type 2 diabetes
- Reducing high blood pressure
So hell yea we should be trying to get as many of them as possible!
How? By eating as many differently coloured foods as we can.
And I don’t mean colours like magenta or neon green that you’ll probably only find in jelly beans 😉 . I’m talking about colours that occur naturally like red, yellow/orange, blue/purple, white and green.
So, what fruits and vegetables should you be eating?
That’s a lot of information to go through and I’m pretty sure no one wants to memorize all that. So here’s an awesome, pinnable graphic for you 😉
It’ll tell you why you should be eating the rainbow and which fruits and vegetables have the benefits you need!
Do you know what causes fruits and vegetables to have different colours?
- Red fruits and vegetables are given their colour by the phytonutrient lycopene.
- Yellow/Orange fruits and vegetables get their pigment from beta-carotene, vitamin C and beta-cryptoxanthin.
- Blue/Purple fruits and vegetables are these colours mainly because of their anthocyanin content.
- ‘White’ fruits and vegetables get their colour from something known as anthoxanthins.
- Green fruits and vegetables get their colour from – you guessed it! – chlorophyll! (Good to know that high school bio was useful after all 😉 )
What about you?
Do you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables?
What colour are you missing from your regular diet?
What else do you think makes up a healthy diet?
Share in the comments below!