Mother Nature made it easy for us to live our best life by giving us vitality and energy producing foods in vibrant colour.
Produce that is coloured red, purple or blue will always contain lots of antioxidants which can stave off free radicals — the gremlins responsible for disease and ageing. In addition, foods in this colour family contain anthocyanins which studies show have inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties.
In these days of refined and processed foods ensuring you get your five-plus a day of fresh fruit and veggies is more important than ever before, and if your choices are organic so much the better because this means your victuals haven’t been sprayed or grown in chemical-laden soil.
One of the most simple ways to guarantee you flood your body with nutrients is to embrace the rich colours that are abundant in fresh produce. Join us on a tour of the super-duper wellbeing cocktail red and purple fruits and veggies deliver:
Apples: high in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants, which are believed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Apples also contain pectin, which is a prebiotic fibre that feeds the good bacteria in the gut aiding digestion.
Beetroot: packed with potent minerals like manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C, folate, beetroot is also a great source of gut-loving fibre.
Berries: this is an umbrella term for raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, which are great choices as they’re antioxidant powerhouses, low in fructose (sugar), and delicious. The most nutritious of the lot is the blueberry.
Blueberries: have exceptional antioxidant levels with vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, selenium and fibre. Phew!
Cherries: renowned for their melatonin content which is a natural sleep aid, cherries also contain anti-inflammatory anthocyanins and carotenoids.
Eggplant (aka aubergine): contains a little-known antioxidant known as nasunin which is believed to protect the brain, as well as vitamins B1, K, manganese, niacin, folate and copper.
Kumara (aka sweet potato): rich in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body, fibre for gut health, resistant starch for feeding friendly bacteria and vitamins C, E, B6, B5 and potassium and manganese.
Passionfruit: especially high in vitamins C and A, passionfruit also contains polyphenols so may protect against chronic inflammation as well as protecting vision.
Pomegranates: anti-inflammatory and believed to help reduce the risk of cancer, pomegranates have higher antioxidant levels than green tea and red wine.
Plums: packed with polyphenols, which are beneficial for bone health and the reduction of heart disease and diabetes, plums are also a very good source of anthocyanins.
Radishes: contain folate, vitamin B6, fibre for gut health, potassium, and minerals like riboflavin, copper, magnesium and calcium.
Red cabbage: chock full of vitamin C and anthocyanins, red cabbage is believed to protect the heart and liver and keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range.
Red capsicum: rich in antioxidants such as vitamins C, B6, E, A and potassium and folate as well as quercetin which helps prevent heart disease and cancer, red capsicum also contain the cancer protectant capsanthin.
Red grapes: high in antioxidants, grapes also contain anthocyanins and resveratrol which are anti-inflammatory and lower your risk of disease.
Red (Spanish) onions: with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, studies have shown these bulb’s may also reduce cancer risk, lower blood sugar, and boost bone health.
Red potato: packed with potassium, vitamin C, folate and vitamin B6, red potatoes also contain resistant starch, which helps with digestive health and friendly colon bacteria.
Rhubarb: vitamin K is at good levels in rhubarb, as well as vitamin C. It’s also high in good-for-the-gut fibre and contains polyphenols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins levels similar to red wine and cocoa.
Tamarillos: filled with vitamins A, C, E, pro-vitamin A. B-Complex niacin, thiamine and riboflavin as well as calcium, potassium, copper, zinc and iron tamarillos are great for blood pressure, the heart and protecting against cancer.
Tomatoes: well-known for their lycopene content which is revered for its link to reduced heart disease and cancer risk tomatoes are also rich in vitamin C, K, folate and potassium.
Words: Jenna Moore