I love fruit and vegetables! I love the sheer diversity of them – the colours, the textures, the flavours. I love how they’re cleverly hiding so many amazing nutrients and phytochemicals that we are only just discovering and learning about.
I love the sheer versatility of fruit and veg – eat them raw, stir-fry them, pickle them (ferment them – yes!), stew them, make them into jam, salads, soups, slice, dice, julienne. Amazing! I can’t believe there are people out there who think they don’t like them!
Fruits and vegetables are perfect little packets of miraculous vitamins, antioxidants and other phytochemicals we haven’t even named yet. They can beat cancer, obesity, viruses, heart disease and keep us looking and feeling younger.
General guidelines suggest we eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. I applaud this! I want to add one more guideline – variety. In order for you to benefit from the enormous array of nutrients in fruit and veg, you need to consume all sorts of different types and all sorts of different colours.
Colour is a really good guideline to help you get a good variety of antioxidants since the colour pigments themselves often have antioxidant properties. For example betacarotene, the orange pigment found in carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin, anthocyanins, the red pigment in grapes and berries and betalains in beetroot. Each of these phytochemicals has a different action in the body so eating a wide variety ensures you cover all your bases.
I encourage people to eat a rainbow every day (it’s not an original concept but it’s apt). If you can eat at least one fruit or vegetable from each colour of the rainbow on most days, then you’re doing pretty well.
It’s easy to get stuck with those old familiars that you know how to cook and prepare but there’s such a huge variety available to us in out modern society, I invite you to step outside your comfort zone and buy that weird looking spiky thing you saw at the grocery store the other day. Google is your friend and will put you in touch with someone who knows what to do with it.
You will also find lots of recipes and ideas on this website to inspire you and your family to include more fruit and vegetables in your diet.