Whilst we celebrate Pride Month 2021 in the UK, it seems like the perfect time to remind ourselves about the importance of food diversity. By cramming in as many natural colours as possible you are doing your health, and fertility, a whole lot of multicoloured goodness.
After years of having the ‘5-A-Day’ message plastered over health campaigns, most of us are aware that eating more fruits and vegetables is a step in a healthier direction. The next move after this should then be to consider variety.
Human beings are creatures of habit. We all have a tendency to act on auto-pilot whilst popping the same options into our weekly shopping baskets. However, by seeking out new ingredients, and making sure our trolleys resemble a rainbow, we are preparing for a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to be consumed.
Research has shown that eating over 30 different types of plant-based foods per week can hugely enhance our gut microbiome. This friendly bacteria has the ability to help our entire bodies to stay healthy. For example, they can aid our digestion, immune system, heart health, weight management, mental health and fertility. Plant-based foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.
But how can we break bland and boring habits?
Next time you go shopping give yourself a little bit of extra time to properly look at what is on offer. You may be surprised at what wonderful delights you wander past every visit. Remember that fresh, frozen, tinned and dried all counts.
If your usual shop isn’t sparking up much creativity, head to a different supermarket, corner shop, farm shop or food market to see if what you’re looking for is there. Alternatively, book in a few fruit and veg box deliveries to your front door to take the decision out of your hands.
As with most foodie habits, planning and preparation are key. Write a weekly meal plan and cram in as many colours as possible. Additionally, you could keep a diary to see how close you are getting to 30 types of different plant-based foods per week.
Go on a search for some recipe inspiration! Pick up recipe cards from the supermarkets, take a look online or reserve some interesting cookbooks from your local library. Try out one new recipe per week if possible and keep a note of any success stories for future dates.
To give you a helping hand, here are some quick and simple vibrant smoothie recipes for an extra colour boost.
Serves: 1 (each smoothie)
Preparation time: 5 minutes each
Method: Simply blend the ingredients of your chosen smoothie together and enjoy!
- 80g frozen berries
- 100g natural yoghurt
- 20g oats
- 1 banana
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp chilled water
- 80g mango
- 1 passion fruit
- 80g tinned peaches
- 3 tbsp of juice from the tinned peaches
- 80g natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp desiccated coconut
- 15g cashew nuts
- ½ avocado
- 50g spinach
- 2 kiwis
- 100ml chilled water
- 1 tsp honey