Eat The Rainbow

Are you getting your 5-a-day?

Many of us are not eating enough fruit and vegetables per day to meet this recommendation. Plants contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, different fibers, carbohydrates, protein, and some fats, essential for good health. Five servings appears to be closer to the minimum requirement as five servings is actually closer to the minimum requirement, so not even reaching that number is a bit of a concern.

Plants also contain lesser know nutrients called phytonutrients. ‘Phyto’ meaning plant. So plant nutrients.

Polyphenols

Polyphenols are the biggest group of phytonutrients found in plants. They are responsible for the colour, taste, and smell of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Not only do polyphenols make colourful, and help make them smell and taste delicious, they are linked to reduced risk of chronic degenerative conditions. And we need a lot of them each day.

A low intake of polyphenols, over a long time is linked to an increased risk of degenerative conditions such as joint pain, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, cancer, alzheimers, etc.

Tips for increasing polyphenol intake

When you are buying your groceries look for different colours as they have different combinations of polyphenols. So aim to get a mix.

Whenever you are preparing a meal, think how can you add more colour. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Making eggs? Add some spinach, sliced tomato, chopped spring onion, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Having cereal? Add some pumpkin seeds, broken walnuts, cinnamon, blueberries and/or raspberries.

Spice up your oats. I like to add some combination of cinnamon, mixed spice, cardamom, turmeric, ground ginger. I also add some colourful berries and/or other fruits to my oats. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, pomegranate seeds, as examples.

Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to your meals.

Wind down with a cup of chamomile tea.

Chop up some root vegetables, and slice a red onion. Pour a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over the vegetables, and mix to coat. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Then roast. Store left overs in the fridge, and add to meals over the next few days.

Frozen

Frozen berries and vegetables (without other ingredients added), are a great option. They are fresh because they are frozen within hours of being picked. They’re also a cheaper alternative to fresh, and available all year.

As you can see, consuming more polyphenols is both easy, and delicious.

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