In Season this month – January
Apples, Beetroot, Blood Oranges, Clementines, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kiwi Fruit, Leeks, oranges Parsnips, Passion fruit, Potatoes, Swede, Truffles, Turnips
Every month I write about the delicious fruit and vegetables that are in season but let’s take a look at some of the benefits of these foods.
Plants contain natural compounds called phytonutrients or phytochemicals known to be powerful defenders of health and studies show that eating more plant foods may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Phytonutrients also provide functions for the plant itself such as protection from pests.
In the human body the phytonutrients help stimulate enzymes that help the body to boost the immune system, to improve cardiovascular health, to get rid of toxins and to promote healthy oestrogen metabolism.
Not only are fruits and vegetable rich sources of phytonutrients, but also whole grains, legumes, herbs and spices and nuts and seeds.
Eating the Rainbow
These phytonutrients in foods come in all different colours – red, yellow, orange, green, purple and white and in order to promote good health, it is important to eat fruits and vegetables of a variety of colour on a daily basis
The first basic step to develop a healthy way of eating is to start with colour
This month let’s take a look at the benefits of PURPLE, BLUE and BLACK foods
These foods are rich in phytonutrients that are good for the brain, helping to support brain health cognition and memory.
Not everyone realises that there are purple varieties of certain vegetables like bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower and these options are more phytonutrient- dense than their typical form. So it’s worth looking out for them at your local farmers market or organic delivery services.
Resveratrol is a purple phytonutrient found in purple food like the skin of grapes and it helps reduce inflammation and blood sugar and supports your cardiovascular system. Resveratrol is also in grape-derived products like red wine – so enjoy but in moderation!
Pterostilbene is a phytonutrient that resembles resveratrol and is found in blueberries and grapes. There is some animal research that suggests it wards off cancer, keeps blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) low, and may help with preserving cognition. There may even be some positive effects on blood sugar.
It is often the case in nutrition that you see vitamins, phytonutrients, and minerals working together to create the best effect!
Ways to include more purple foods:
- Add aubergine and purple cabbage to a veggie stir fry or a purple rice dish
- Make a blueberry smoothie.
- Cook with purple or black rice instead of white rice