Diet diversity means to include a range of different food groups into your diet, and a variety of different colours.
Did you know that every food group serves a function for our bodies and provides us with different nutrients?
The colour of foods also influences the kind of nutrients the food offers. Which is why it is important to eat a variety of foods to ensure we are taking in as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
Check out another blog I wrote: THE ACT OF SAVOURING: HOW TO LIVE A MORE MEANINGFUL LIFE
Eat The Rainbow
I am sure many of you have heard the phrase, “to eat the rainbow”. This is an old saying that many used to encourage others to eat variety, as it results in increased fibre, vitamin and mineral intake. The colour of fruits and vegetables is created by phytonutrients – natural chemicals that help protect plants from bugs, pesticides and the sun’s harmful rays. Phytonutrients keep the plant healthy and provide us with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. So, what do the different colours mean?
- red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and red pepper have cancer fighting properties and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Orange and Yellow
- orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as oranges, carrots and corn improve the immune system as they are rich in Vitamin C.
- green fruits and vegetables help to detoxify the body and can also assist in supporting the immune system. I am sure many of you heard the saying, “eat your greens” when you were younger. Your parents said this because greens are one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are high in folate – an important B-vitamin.
- purple vegetables such as aubergine and purple cabbage have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
- blue fruits such as blueberries are high in antioxidants and are a great superfood for the body.
Benefits Of A Diverse Diet
As mentioned, the different food groups each provide our body with unique nutrients and functions. Daily, we consume both macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which serve a purpose for our body.
Another great read: THE MIND-GUT CONNECTION – HOW TO UNLOCK YOUR GUT HEALTH POTENTIAL
Macronutrients are nutrients that are needed in our bodies in large quantities and provide our body with energy.
Micronutrients are non-caloric and provide us with vitamins and minerals to support our gut health and immune system.
Carbohydrates, protein and fat all provide us with energy.
Protein is also important for muscle growth and bone health and fat insulates our organs and assists in hormone production.
As you can see, each food group provides a unique function for our body and aids our body to work in the most efficient way.
Cocoa Blended Oats
Instead of a bowl of plain oats, change it up! Add some peanut butter for healthy fats and protein and top with fresh berries to increase your phytonutrient intake.
You can download the recipe here.
40 g rolled oats
50 – 100ml nut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp honey
1 tsp natural peanut butter
Handful of granola (Woolworths carb-free preferable)
- Cover the oats in water and cook on the stove with cinnamon and cocoa, stirring occasionally.
- Once the oats soak up the water, add the nut milk and more water if necessary and cook for a few more minutes.
- When the oats are cooked, remove from the stove and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Then add the oats to a blender, and blend for a few seconds to get a nice, creamy consistency.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl, top with honey, peanut butter, berries and granola and enjoy!