Many of us are used to thinking about the almighty calorie when it comes to food. Many have even taken it further by keeping an eye on grams of fat, carbs and even protein when it comes to making food choices.
Most of us overlook the importance of making our food choices by colour.
I’m not talking about the dazzling array of synthetic colours that we see in a handful of M&Ms or Skittles. I’m talking true, honest-to-goodness natural colours found in whole foods – the deep red of a beet, the brilliant yellow of a squash and the rich violet of a ripe blueberry.
Why eat more colour?
On a scientific level, these natural colours in foods are a sign of the phytonutrients they contain. It is these phytonutrients offer long-term health protection against disease! They help reduce inflammation, balance stress response and even help with insulin sensitivity.
Variety is the name of the game
Plants contain more than 1000,000 (known) phytonutrients. To reap all the benefits, we need variety in our diet. Variety helps boost the power of phytonutrients because some compounds are known to synergise better with others. ie certain compounds are fat-soluble and need healthy fats to be absorbed while other foods work best best when eaten together.
A couple of my favourite combinations include:
- Turmeric is best when black pepper and oil are included
- Lemon juice added to green tea keeps the protective polyphenols active longer
- Before you toss that burger patty on the grill, add rosemary to reduce the carcinogens produced in the grilling process.
“Eating the rainbow” also helps prevent food boredom (which can trigger binge eating); reduces sweet cravings and minimizes body fat storage. Read the Colour food Chart below to see how many foods you can enjoy!