Said simply, kick beige foods out of your diet. Fruits and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green, and white/brown. Each colour carries its own set of unique disease fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. Each of these distinct colours has antioxidants that protect our cells from oxidative stress, some contain enzymes that can aid us in digesting our foods, and some play a key role in detoxification, helping us to eliminate waste and toxins from our bodies.
Fruits and vegetables get their colour from naturally occurring micronutrients — such as vitamins and phytonutrients — which are essential for good health. Phytonutrients found specifically in herbs, fruits, and vegetables have health promoting and disease preventive properties that are required by our bodies for sustaining life.
Therefore, choosing a variety of different-coloured whole foods throughout the day and increasing the number of vegetables that we take in can be key to helping us maintain optimal health, energy, and digestive function. A simple target to bring a variety of these nutrients into your diet would be to ‘eat the rainbow’ or bring as much colour to your plate at each meal as possible. A diet full of ‘beige food’ or processed foods will have an effect on your wellbeing and your long term risk of disease.
Why not challenge yourself to include up to nine different types of fruit and vegetables a day? Preferably seven varieties of vegetables and two pieces of fruit. Eating them raw, steamed, roasted, juiced, and blended in soups and smoothies, can easily increase your vegetable intake.
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