Colourful fruits and vegetables contains lots of beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals to help you maintain good health and immunity. Do you know that brightly coloured fruits and veggies has more phytochemicals? Phytochemicals are naturally occuring compounds/pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright colour. These beneficial nutritive compounds are generally associated with 5 colours; Red, Blue/Purple, Orange/Yellow, Brown/White and Green. The Health Promotion Board recommends that we eat at least 4 servings of fruits and veggies daily (2 servings each). And nope, having 4 glasses of fruit juices daily is not the easy way out!
I’m featuring Orange/Yellow colour group this time simply because, it’s coming into season and perhaps i was influenced by the recent political ‘hype’ about orange being the new black. Orange/Yellow fruits and veggies contains phytochemicals: carotenoids and bio flavonoids. This 2 compounds has been extensively studied and can help maintain:
• healthy heart
• healthy vision
• healthy immune system
I chose to feature the following 6 Yellow/Orange fruit and veggies because they’re readily available but not necessarily common in our diets. I will also include some cooking or preparation tips to help you incorporate them into your diet easily.
(1) Pumpkin- An all rounder to me because it a large array of vitamins (A, some Bs, C, E), minerals like Folate, Iron, Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber.
- Make a pumpkin mash by stirring in some high calcium milk, cheddar cheese to make it even more flavourful.
- It’s super easy make a nourishing pumpkin soup at home. Simply boil some pumpkins chunks in a tasty home-made stock and add in a dash of nutmeg. All you have to do next is to use a hand-held immersion blender (choose a stainless steel one), blender (I prefer blender jars that are made of glass) or a simple manual masher to blend till smooth. You'll love its velvety smooth mouth-feel...
(2) Sweet potatoes- they are an excellent source of, potassium, fibre, vitamin A and C (much more than potatoes).
- Try preparing some baked potato fries/sticks. It's a great snack! All you have to do is to cut the potato into long strips/stick, lightly brush or spray some olive/canola oil over it and bake at 200Degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Another yummy way is to make a sweet potato frittata (omelette). Put it through a grater, lightly fry it with a little oil in a skillet, add in eggs and cheese to cook till the sides starts to crust. Finish it off by baking it in an oven for about 10 to 15mins. Ooohh, don't you love the smell of eggs?
(3) Bell peppers (capsicum)- they are especially high in vitamin C, and minerals like folate, and potassium.
- Grilling totally alters the taste profile of bell peppers. It helps release the natural sweetness and gives it an exquisite smoky taste. Add this to any salad and it's bound to delight.
- Peppers also adds beautiful flavour to stews and stir-fries. Try making a fanciful bolognese sauce by adding some diced peppers, it goes really well with tomatoes and beef.
(4) Grapefruit- a great source of Dietary fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C for sure!
- I love blending orange, carrot and grapefruit juices together. Do you know vitamin C can help you absorb nutrients better? Having a juice with your meal is ideal.
- For a citus thirst quencher, add sparking water and some mint leaves to half a glass of grape fruit juice. Its a definite perk-me-up drink for any sleepy afternoon.
(5) Nectarine- a good source of Dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Niacin and Potassium.
- Ripe juicy nectarines are a delight. They are like a hybrid between a peach and plum. Many described it as "peach with a plum skin". It makes an excellent fruit compote candidate. Put fresh nectarine halves into a sauce pot, pour enough orange juice to cover it and throw in a stick of cinnamon for more flavour. Let the fruits simmer on medium low heat until it turns soft. You can add your fruit compote to your oats porridge or even serve it over some fluffy pancakes!
(6) Rock Melon (cantaloupe) - It is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, C, B6 and Folate and Potassium.
- This fruit freezes really well. Cut it into any fanciful shape or cubes and freeze it. Put it through a skewer and you it will pass off as an ice lollipop (works on my kids). Its such a refreshing cold treat.
- Add it into any of your favourite greens to make a delicious salad. My personal favourite thing to do is to have it with a rocket salad. YUM!
Enjoy healthier days by eating a 'rainbow'! Good nutrition is especially crucial during certain life stages. The diet of pregnant, lactating moms, babies and toddlers has a lifelong impact. If you are not sure if you are eating well, i can help analyze your diet and customize a diet plan according to your preference, age, stage and health status. Feel free to call us!