Did you know that we can learn a lot from the colour of our fruits and vegetables? Every piece of fruit and vegetable are packed with loads of nutrients that are important for our health and vitality. A fun and easy way to make sure you are consuming all the vitamins and nutrients your body requires, is to eat the colours of the rainbow!
Over the coming weeks, we are going to explore all the different fruits and veggies that make up the colours of the rainbow. We are going to learn what makes them so delicious, nutritious and why they are so good for you.
I hear you asking – what gives fruits and vegetables their pretty colours? Great question!
Fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green and white/brown. Each colour carries its very own set of disease fighting chemicals – called phytochemicals. It is these exceptional phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colours and unique healthy antioxidant properties.
Fun fact: The darker the colour of the fruit or vegetable, the denser its nutrients!
This week, we are going to begin with RED!
Did you know that the colour red is a symbol for love, passion, joy, strength, leadership, courage and vibrancy?
Sounds like a pretty important colour to me! So, let’s learn about why red fruits and vegetables are so good….
Red fruits and veggies get their rich colour from a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene, mostly found in tomatoes, can be very effective in keeping our heart healthy by reducing high blood pressure.
Other key nutrients:
- Vitamin A & C: vital for our skin, hair, nails, vision and immune system;
- Electrolytes: Potassium, magnesium and sodium, which are key for hydration and for healthy blood pressure regulation; and
- High in Fibre: essential for proper functioning of the gut and has been related to risk reduction for a number of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers such as bowel cancer.
Here are some examples of red fruits and vegetables that you can add to your meals to give them some extra colour:
Next time you’re in the supermarket try picking out some of these juicy red fruits and veggies to add to your snacks or meals!
- Nutrition Australia, 2013: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/sites/default/files/eat-a-rainbow-fact-sheet-20130506.pdf
- Medline Plus, 2018: https://medlineplus.gov/vitamina.html
- Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council, 2011: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/dietary-fibre