No doubt you will have heard of the expression 'eating a rainbow', but how much of this advice do you really follow?
There is a good reason why you should, especially at this time of year. If people around you are starting to get the sniffles and coughs, then you need to be doubly sure your immune system is in the peak of condition, and that comes from supporting it with great foods that are rich in antioxidants, which are easy to spot as they are the colourful ones!
Firstly you need to know that your body is going to absorb these wonderful nutrients, so if you have any bloating, flatulence or stomach pain issue, you may need to see a health professional to ensure your digestive system is working at the optimum level.
Ensuring you are including colourful foods into your diet is easy - just look at your plate before each meal! If it's all brown and beige you're doing it wrong! And that may be because you are buying readymade foods. For example, the pot of houmous shown here is homemade, but not only do I include all the normal ingredients - chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, I also add Brazil nuts and parsley - added essential fats, fibre, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, plus much more. There is no comparison on nutrition or price to the shop-bought product. And served with roasted sweet potatoes and carrots that have been tossed in olive oil, cumin seeds and pumpkin seeds, you have yourself a colourful, nutritious snack.
For those that have a sweet tooth and need a bit of a treat, even this can be healthy and takes little effort -
Mango and Apricot Crumble
175 g dried apricots, roughly chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 large mango, peeled, stoned and chopped
100 g raspberries
50 g ground almonds
15 g coconut oil, melted
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas mark 6.
Place the chopped apricots into a bowl and add the orange zest and juice. Cover and leave to stand for 1 hour.
Place the mango in an ovenproof dish then add the raspberries and finally spoon over the soaked apricots and all the juice.
Sprinkle over the ground almonds followed by the coconut oil and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden on top.