Health spotlight: colourful foods and antioxidants
Our health editor and qualified nutritionist highlights how to add more colour to your life through simple diet and lifestyle habits
In our spotlight series, health editor and registered nutritionist Tracey Raye puts the spotlight on top health trends to bring you simple, nourishing ways to include more of the good stuff in your daily life in a gentle way.
Why does colour matter in food?
Not only is colour a biological mechanism that we use to determine whether a food is fresh and ripe enough to eat, but it also suggests to us when the levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are at their prime in a fruit or vegetable.
Research suggests that antioxidants can:
- fight free radicals – unstable molecules that can damage your cells
- lengthen the shelf life of both processed and unprocessed foods
Colour in your diet
Colour is such a great indication of nutrition as different coloured foods contain different varieties of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As a general rule of thumb, choosing plates with an abundance of colour is a great way to feel nourished. This roasted veg and feta grain salad ticks all the boxes, whether served warm for a cosy supper or at room temperature for a light, yet satisfying lunch.
Three more ways to add colour to your meals
Variety is the spice of life, as they say – however, really, variety is the path to nourishment. As different foods carry such different quantities and varieties of nutrients, switching up the foods you eat is a wonderful way to ensure well-rounded nutrition.
- Consider starting your day with a smoothie or snacking on a fresh juice between meals
- Add variety to your favourite dips by switching up the toppings
- Get creative with your side dishes with recipes such as tosazu grilled lettuce and mustardy green beans
Colour and your lifestyle
Colour is a constant that brings me joy on a daily basis. Simply throwing on a bright orange dress or feasting on a bowl of vibrant, fresh food can lift me from the gloomiest of moods. However, it's not just me. Research shows that colour can impact our mood, with warm colours such as red, yellow and orange evoking feelings of passion, happiness and love, while cooler colours like blue, green and purple might instil calmness.
For this reason, surrounding my space with colour can help me to feel more balanced no matter the time of day. With its rich ambers, bold greens and sunshine yellows, the Hay homeware and accessories collection from Earl of East is one of my favourites. Its yellow tinted tumblers and amber glass jug gives me garden party joy even in the depths of winter.
More colourful products we love:
- Merida towel collection by Anthropologie | £14-£28 depending on size
- Habitat two-tone red spot mug | £4.50 each
- Sui turquoise pine wardrobe | £749 a piece
- Anna + Nina bubble taper candle holder | £40 each
Tell me, what colour do you think you eat the most – red, green, purple? What's your favourite colour in general? Comment below and share your experiences...
Tracey Raye is the health editor for olive and BBC Good Food. Tracey, MSc, is a registered nutritionist, holding a master’s degree in personalised nutrition. She is passionate about harnessing the power of all things health and wellbeing – in a way that enhances, rather than limits our lives. She covers our nourishing recipes and collections, oversees our health strategy and stays on top of the latest health and lifestyle trends in order to bring you the tools and inspiration you need to find what health means for you.