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Do you eat the rainbow?

8 May, 2020

Phytonutrients, the colourful nutrients found in plants are extremely beneficial to our health. With colours ranging from red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple/black to white/tan/brown their superpowers are many, some of which include: 

⭐️ helping to strengthen our immune system, 

⭐️ assisting to detoxify our body, 

⭐️ being beneficial to our cardiovascular health, and 

⭐️ proving to be instrumental in the fight against cancer! 

The vibrant range of colourful fruits and vegetables illuminate their abundant supply of phytonutrients – compounds that give ‘nature’s skittles’ not only their rich colours but also their distinctive tastes and aromas. Whole grains, legumes, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds and even some teas are also rich in phytonutrients. For optimal health we should aim to consume each of these colours every single day!

So how do we go about eating the rainbow on a daily basis? Over the next few weeks, I’ll break down each of the colours by highlighting one per week – the foods, their compounds, the health benefits as well as various ways to get more of each colour into your daily regime, so...stay tuned!

In keeping with the rainbow, I will end this week with a delicious recipe from the lovely Deanna Minich, PhD, one of my favourite faculty instructors at the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy.

Rainbow Smoothie* 🍓🥭🍋🥬🍇🥤 

Makes 2 servings (1 serving ≈ 240-300ml) 

- ½ cup (cold) green tea 

- 1 cup hemp or almond milk (unsweetened) 

- 1–2 tablespoons chia seeds, whole or ground 

- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 

- ⅛ teaspoon ginger (dried) or ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced 

- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or 1 teaspoon stevia 

- ½ cup (no sugar added) frozen blueberries 

- ½ cup (no sugar added) frozen strawberries 

- ½ cup (no sugar added) frozen mangoes 

- 1 cup packed baby spinach

*Add ¼ to ½ cup ice to increase thickness if desired

Directions: 

Add the prepared green tea, hemp or almond milk to your blender. Then add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed ending with the baby spinach. Blend at a very low speed until the ingredients are mixed and then gradually increase the speed to high and blend well for 1 minute. Serve immediately. (If unable to serve immediately, please omit the chia seeds as gelling will occur and the smoothie will be less palatable.)

Options: 

Add 1–2 scoops of protein powder, 1–2 tablespoons of a nut butter of your choice or ground flax or hemp seeds or a combination of these options to add quality protein, healthy fats and fibre to this smoothie. If using fresh fruit be sure to add ½–1 cup ice to the mixture to get the desired thickness.

Enjoy!