What are Phytochemicals?
Phytochemicals are partly responsible for vegetables’ protective benefits, helping to improve your overall health! Did you know that it is these phytochemicals that give vegetables their colours and each colour holds their own, unique health benefits? (See below for the 5 colour groups and some examples of vegetables they include). Chose vegetables from each colour group, every day, to ensure a great variety of these special nutrients.
Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, peas, beans, Asian greens, salad mixes
Carrots, pumpkin, corn, kumera (sweet potato)
Tomatoes, red capsicum, red onions, radishes
Beetroot, purple asparagus, red cabbage, eggplant
Cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions, potatoes
Aside from the health benefits, eating a range of coloured vegetables is a great way to add variety and interest. It will also improve the overall presentation and appeal of the meal/snack!
Hints and Tips
- Try to have at least 4 of the 5 colours on your plate each evening
- Have fun with salads. Make them about more than just lettuce – add cherry tomatoes, snow peas, yellow capsicum, mushrooms and roast sweet potato for a crisp and colourful salad
- Go stir crazy! Stir fry’s are an easy way to include a variety of coloured vegies at your evening meal
- Slice up vegies such as celery, carrot and capsicum and enjoy with low fat dip for a delicious and healthy snack
- Include extra vegetables in family favorite meals such as pasta, risottos and pizzas.
Nutritional information supplied by The Sanitarium Nutrition Service