Fruit and vegetables come in a variety of colours and are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost the immune system and reduce the risk of numerous chronic health conditions. They are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to reduce cholesterol, promote regular bowel function, and improve gut health.
Eating the recommended 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day, from different colours and varieties will keep you energised and focused throughout the day.
There is no better way to care for your health than by focusing on a nutritional intake abundant in fresh, seasonal, and homegrown produce. Growing your own food enables your fruit and vegetables to be picked at their peak and consumed soon after harvesting, meaning high vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels, fabulous flavour, and freshness – so it is a win on every level.
It is the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables that give them their different colours; so choosing your favourite seeds to plant across the year from each of the colour groups below is a great way to increase exposure to various phytonutrients (plant chemicals) as well as diversity in your dietary intake. See table below that explains the health benefits of different coloured food!
|Colour||Fruits or Vegetables||Phytochemicals & Benefits|
Carotenoid – Lycopene
🥕 Orange and yellow
Carotenoid – Beta-carotenoid
|🌿 Green||Spinach |
Spice it up!
Herbs and spices are another ideal way to boost the phytochemical and antioxidant content of a meal. Using these to top meals is a great way to add flavour to your favourite recipes and can help to reduce the need for added salt. Some great herbs to try your hand at planting to easily include in meals at home include:
Try to eat a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables each day to get the full range of colours and consequently vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health benefits.
So next time you’re thinking about what to grow at home – don’t just consider the seasons, but also give thought to the vegetable colours you are planting. Variety is the spice of life!
– Catherine (FFH volunteer Dietitian) 🌱