The Color of Food and Other Tips for Healthy Eating

On average the color of a fruit or vegetable indicates how nutritious it is. Generally darker, deeper colored fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than lighter ones. So those well ripened tomatoes should be better for you than pale under ripe ones. There are plenty of other things to look for when choosing healthy foods.

Avocados

Avocados are free of cholesterol and provide vitamin E which is very good for the heart, folic acid and potassium. They are high in fat for a fruit, but most of this is the healthier unsaturated type.

Tomatoes


Tomatoes are actually a type of berry and these once-exotic fruits were called ‘love apples’ in the 16th century. However tomatoes’ status as an aphrodisiac may be due to a mistranslation. Legend has it a Frenchman on his travels ate a meal with tomatoes in it and was fascinated with the new taste. He went back to the chef who was Italian and asked him what this new ingredient was. The chef said “Pomme de’ Moors” (Apple of the Moors), but the Frenchman misunderstood and thought he said “Pomme d’Amore” (Apple of Love).

Pasta, oats and pulses

Pasta, oats and pulses (peas, beans and lentils) are good sources of ‘slow-release’ carbohydrates that help to keep your blood glucose (sugar) levels on an even keel.

5-a-day

All types of fruit and vegetables count towards the recommended five servings a day, whether they’re fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned.

Baked beans

A small can of baked beans counts as one of your recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables. Great news for students on a tight budget!

Calcium in milk

Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contain as much calcium as full-cream milk, so make a healthy choice.

Reduced-fat?

‘Low’ or ‘reduced-fat’ foods aren’t necessarily lower in calories thanks to the extra sugars or starches they often contain. Always check the calorie content before you buy.

High-fiber breakfast

Research from the University of Cardiff found that people who ate high-fiber breakfast cereal (bran flakes, All Bran) every day reported feeling less tired and stressed than those who ate low-fibre cereals such as cornflakes.

Eating Late at Night

Food eaten late at night is not more fattening. Studies have found that it’s your total calorie intake over the day that counts. Remember the “no carbs after 4 o’clock” rule.

Frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables can be at least as nutritious as fresh alternatives, especially if the fresh ones have been kept at room temperature for a few days or so. So don’t be afraid to check out the freezers at the supermarket.

Phytochemicals

All fruit and vegetables contain different phytochemicals (phyto = plant), which give them their distinctive colors and flavors, and can benefit our health. Mix your colors for optimal benefits.

Brussels sprouts

Don’t like Brussels sprouts? It could be inherited. Some people carry a gene, which makes them taste unpleasantly bitter. Pity, as the bitter part is good for you! Roll on Christmas !

Chocolate

Chocolate tastes so great it seems we release feel-good endorphin chemicals in the brain when we eat it, which is why we want to come back for more. Fortunately, it also provides antioxidants (in the cocoa) and minerals including magnesium and copper. Milk chocolate contains calcium
too. Just remember that there is fat in there too, so don;t take this as advice to eat as much as you can.

Oysters

Oysters are the richest source of the mineral zinc, needed for immunity, wound healing, healthy skin and fertility. They were also reputed to be Cassanova’s favorite food!

Lose a pound in a week

A pound of body fat contains 3,500 calories. So to lose a pound in a week you need to eat 500 calories less each day (7 x 500 = 3,500) and vice versa for weight gain.

Source: BBC Health Pages

More like this in the Diet and Nutrition section

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