Eating the rainbow is a really important step to take when wanting to get healthy. An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Adding antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet each day will strengthen your ability to fight infection and disease.

Many people when taking on a ’diet’ mistakenly stop eating fruit, thinking it causes a rush in blood sugar, but this is not the case as sugar from fruit goes to the liver first before it can be used. There are very few exceptions to this rule – such as dates, some grapes, and melons – but if you eat these as part of a fruit salad with more fibrous fruit, they don’t pose a problem. You would need to eat a very large portion of grapes to cause an insulin spike.

Eating a rainbow of antioxidants daily offers much-needed help in counteracting the damage done by a poor junk food diet, smoking, taking medications, toxicity or chemical exposure, and high amounts of stress. Antioxidants are precious substances that also protect against cancer and have health benefits such as:

• Slowing down signs of aging in skin, eyes, tissue, joints, heart and brain
• Promoting healthier, more youthful, glowing skin
• Detoxification support
• Longer life span
• Protection against heart disease and stroke
• Less risk for cognitive problems, such as dementia
• Reduced risk for vision loss or disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts

You don’t have to be an expert to learn which foods contain antioxidants; there is a very simple guideline:

If it’s fresh and colourful, it contains antioxidants.

The good news is that foods containing antioxidants are also typically low GI. For example, sweet potatoes are much lower on the GI than white potatoes and are also rich in antioxidants.

Foods high in antioxidants include the following:

  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • All berries: strawberries, cranberries, blueberries etc.
  • Pomegranate
  • Peppers (all colours)
  • Pumpkin
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Watercress
  • Cauliflower
  • Melon
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemons
  • Pineapple

Aim for 9-12 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, one or two portions of each colour per day is a good goal to strive for, in the ratio of three vegetables to one fruit.

It’s not just fruit and vegetables that offer a rainbow of antioxidants and health giving benefits, try adding green tea, olives, cacao, coconut, kidney beans, turmeric, ginger, red wine, coriander, basil, parsley and cinnamon to your menu!

Take care of you Gut…

Gut Flora 871x581

Microbes have the ability to change your life, they can do this all day every day, as long as we create the right environment for them to live and thrive. Take care of your Microbe means taking care of your health. So, you’re more likely to feel your best when your microbe is healthy, they are responsible for firing up your energy levels, to helping deep, restful sleep, keeping your immune system in tip top condition….

You really can take control by feeding your microbiome the right foods, alongside an assortment of vegetables and fruits, some great dietary sources are: organic free range eggs, liver, fish, nut and seed oils, yoghurt and kefir, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, sprouted grains, kombucha, coconut oil and high fibre foods such as artichokes, green peas, lentils, black and lima beans, almonds, raspberries, and apples.

A healthy diet with natural probiotics and a good intake of digestive enzymes (found in uncooked plants and vegetables) all help to maintain and calm the gut. Healthy gut bacteria activate neurons in the brain that produce serotonin so you really will be eating food that is good for you and makes you feel good.
Prebiotics are less well known than probiotics and are specialized plant fibres that nourish the existing gut bacteria. Whilst probiotics populate the gut with new bacteria, prebiotics feed them and sustain them. In this way they are both equally as important for gut health. In other words, eat lots of raw vegetables and fruit daily!