More vegetables please.

casserole-dish-2776735_640.jpg

Something my clients hear me say a lot is to eat more vegetables, fruit and legumes because hardly anyone eats as much as is optimal. I don't advocate any one diet for clients (I am not vegetarian although some of my clients are and I support that), but hardly anyone eats even the government recommended 2 fruit and 5 veg servings a day. And I would say if you need to heal from chronic health issues, that would be an absolutely bare minimum.

One of the best things you can do for your gut health, heart health, cancer prevention, and to lower overall inflammation in the body, (which is an underlying condition for many chronic illnesses), is to eat more plant-based foods.

Many people fall back on bread or other grain-based products, as their staple- toast/cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner- because they are so convenient, but they are a little acidic on the body, especially the white versions. Fruit and veg are alkalising and provide a much better foundation especially if one has chronic health issues or inflammation. Legumes are usually forgotten and I just want to remind people about them.

Not only do I recommend more vegetables, fruit and legumes as the basis for any diet, but also more VARIETIES of fruit, vegetables and legumes.

We live in an era and a place where we have such an abundance of variety! If you find yourself bored with apples and bananas, when was the last time you had black grapes, figs, persimmons, fresh raspberries, honeydew melon, mango or papaya? Or blood oranges, fuyu persimmons, or the many different varieties of plums available at the moment? They are not expensive compared to chronic illness, takeaway food, or a bottle of wine!

For vegetables, how about the different types of pumpkin now in season; fennel bulbs; orange or yellow capsicum; try a different type of onion than normal; okra; Chinese veg like pay choy; fresh asparagus, sweet potato; different cucumbers; or even a different type of potato than normal? These different colours and types all feed different beneficial gut bugs.

For legumes, which are particularly beneficial for our gut microbes with their fibre, there are chickpeas, black beans, brown or green lentils, butter beans, soy beans, cannelloni beans, kidney beans, and all the wonderful dhal lentils such as mung, urid , red or adzuki. There are even pastas now made purely from legumes.

I encourage you to try something new this week. Try and eat the rainbow every day! Recipes abound online- just google your ingredient! I am loving the Yum app on my iPad, which I keep in the kitchen when I am cooking. I can look up an ingredient I have in the fridge, and find dozens of recipes containing that ingredient.

I hope I have inspired you to have some fun with colourful plant foods and get healthy at the same time.

vegetable-skewer-3317060_640.jpg