Chances are you’ve been told to repeatedly eat colourful vegetables and fruits by your parents or doctor. To understand the benefits of eating different coloured fruits and vegetables, we must first know how they obtain their colours! The answer is antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanins and carotenoids. When consumed regularly, they decrease the risks of multiple diseases, so there are many benefits to eating the rainbow!
Red fruits have multiple health benefits, such as decreasing the risk of weak immune systems and cancer while promoting cognitive and heart health. Common red fruits and vegetables are tomatoes, berries, pomegranates, red bell peppers and beets.
My two favourite dishes with red ingredients are homemade tomato soup and a smoothie bowl.
Recipe for the soup:
- Wash tomatoes, beets and bell peppers.
- Chop and add them to a baking tray.
- Add garlic and season to taste.
- After roasting the veggies, blend them and add them to a pot.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes, add some heavy cream or milk and enjoy!
Recipe for the smoothie:
- Add your choice of berries, milk, and sweetener (I use honey).
- Blend for a couple of minutes.
- Top with granola, more fruits, seeds of your choice, and coconut shavings
Orange food is an excellent boost for the immune system while promoting eye and skin health. My favourites include turmeric, papaya, mangoes and carrots.
A quick recipe that is very trendy right now is the turmeric wellness shot, and The remains are great for face masks or even compost! I prefer drinking some in the morning as it helps with brain fog and energizes me for the day.
Recipe for the wellness shot:
- Chop 4-5 carrots, some ginger, turmeric and lemon.
- Add everything to a blender.
- Add about 1L of water and blend on high for a couple of minutes.
- Strain the mixture, pour the juice, and store it for a couple of days.
Yellow fruits are anti-inflammatory, therefore, suitable for preventing or curing heartburn. It also improves eye, cognitive and skin health. Some simple examples are yellow bell peppers, squash, lemons and pineapples.
My favourite recipe for the yellow category is quick to cook, and it makes for a great healthy side dish.
Recipe for the yellow medley:
- Dice the bell peppers, squash and pineapples into little cubes.
- Add your preferred seasonings
- Let it bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
My favourite category is the greens! These are great for your liver and essential for your brain, heart and gut health. Some of the most loved greens are leafy, zucchini, bell peppers, cucumbers, and broccoli. I personally love them for their versatility.
Recipe for the green smoothie:
- Add chopped kale, green apples, spinach and cucumbers to a blender.
- Add the desired amount of water.
- Blend and enjoy, as easy as that!
Blue & Purple
The blue and purple categories are equally essential for the human body. They are highly anti-inflammatory, excellent for brain health and might even prevent cancer.
The most common fruits and vegetables in this category are blueberries, grapes, plums, prunes and eggplants. The fruits are also an excellent source of fibre, and they can be a great snack!