Why not challenge yourself to eat 5 serves of vegetables every day during National Nutrition Week!
3 great ways to add vegetables to your day are:
1. Eat a rainbow
Have a bunch of different coloured vegetables every day during National Nutrition Week to get the max variety of beneficial nutrients, PLUS you’ll love the variety of tastes and textures!
2. Try something new every day
Try a new vegetable, a new recipe, or try eating vegetables in a way that you don’t normally eat them. Or get more bang for your buck by using up ageing veggies, and eating the parts that you usually throw away!
3. Love your legumes
Did you know that 2016 is International Year of the Pulse? Or that legumes are in the vegetable AND protein food groups? Pulses, beans and legumes are a cheap and versatile source of fibre, protein plus many other important nutrients.
What’s in a colour?
Red fruits and vegetables are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy.
The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Carotenoids give this group their vibrant colour. A well-known carotenoid called Betacarotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots. It is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Another carotenoid called lutein is stored in the eye and has been found to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.
Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles and saponins, all of which have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are also excellent sources of folate.
White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are also a good source of potassium.
For more information go to http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/national-nutrition-week