Jumaat, 18 Jun 2010

Why colourful food is good for you

Look beyond (dull) brown lentils and get your antioxidant hit with a more colourful plate.
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It’s the health-nut buzzword we hear all the time: antioxidants! Sounds great, but what are they? “Antioxidants mop up free-radicals [toxins] in the body often caused by stress, alcohol, sunlight and pollution,” says Brisbane-based dietitian Julie Gilbert.

“Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants,” she adds. Fresh, frozen, dried, canned – it doesn’t matter how you eat your rainbow foods, the pot-of-gold reward at the end will be bright eyes, glowing skin, and heightened health all over.

Check out which coloured food groups you should be adding to your shopping basket.


Foods: Apricots, pawpaw, oranges, pumpkin, carrots.

Magic ingredient: Carotenoids, a classic mop-up-the-toxins antioxidant that helps with cell function.


Foods: Broccoli, spinach, bok choy, cabbage, lettuce, sprouts (alfalfa and Brussels).

Magic ingredients: Phytochemicals, lutein and folate. These antioxidants are like a mini medical team, scooting around the body healing damaged cells.


Foods: Tomatoes, guava, watermelon, red grapefruit, red capsicum.

Magic ingredient: Lycopene, your body’s defence hero. It protects white blood cells (the infection fighters).


Foods: Garlic, onions, potatoes, bananas.

Magic ingredients: Allicin (in garlic), potassium. Allicin, which gives garlic its aroma and flavour, cleans up all the junk in your bod – it’s classed as a super-antioxidant (like green tea). Potassium acts as an anti-inflammatory, so you’ll get less aches and pains.


Foods: Eggplants, figs, prunes, blueberries (buy frozen ones to avoid bankruptcy), blackberries, red wine (settle down, ladies – this means one glass only).

Magic ingredients: Lutein and zeaxanthin. These nice guys relax your blood vessels so your heart has an easier time pumping. They also help prevent age-related macular degeneration of the eye.


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