Why To Eat The Colour Of The Rainbow For Your Brain?
We are into week 2 of the mental & brain health topic and we are going over the (food) rainbow today. There is a reason why we are attracted to colorful foods. Nature created colorful food to attract people to them and signal that they are filled with multiple benefits. (Sadly this is why candy and fast food companies jumped onto using artificial coloring for their junk foods... sigh)
In this episode, Katia will dive into the "why" of the colors - the colors of the plants play an important role for your brain health. Enjoy!
Last week we talked about omega:3 fats and their role in brain health. In addition to these brain-supporting fats, eating a variety of brightly coloured vegetables is important to support the health of our brain. Vegetables are full of antioxidants, molecules that can protect our brain cells from damage by “free radicals”. Free radicals are harmful molecules that can damage cells and tissues in the process of oxidation – one of the best-documented causes of brain cell death. Oxidation is akin to the gradual rusting of metal. By eating colourful veggies with every meal, we can help protect our cells from this destructive process.
In fact, even a small change in your daily vegetable intake can make a big difference to your mental health. A 2022 study has found that increasing vegetable intake to just two and a half cups (which is around two and a half to three servings) a day can increase one’s overall happiness (1). Is two and a half cups of veggies a lot? We know that 67.6 percent of adult population in Hong Kong only eats one and a half portions of vegetables a day; and many Hong Kongers consume, on average, only 10 portions of vegetables and 9 portions of fruit a week (2). So while two and a half cups is not a lot, it would still almost double the average vegetable intake in Hong Kong. This shows the power that small changes can have on your well-being.
Did you know that FoodCraft now carried a wide selection of vegetables? Try replacing your white rice with vegetable rice below as an easy way to increase your vegetable intake and variety. Or try this cauliflower rice if you are short of time.
Note: 1 serving provides 2 portion of vegetables
2c cauliflower (head, stalks and leaves), grated or finely ground in a blender
1c cooked brown rice
1stp turmeric powder
½ onion finely chopped (~1/2c)
1 carrot or bell pepper finely chopped (~1c)
1 zucchini finely chopped (~1c)
1-2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A handful of parsley (leaves only), chopped fine
1tbsp sesame seeds
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onions until soft. Add the riced cauliflower and carrots/peppers and stir fry until soft. Add the zucchini and cooked rice and cook for a further 3-4 minute to heat through.
- Sprinkle fresh parsley and sesame seeds over and serve immediately.
P.S.: Want to learn more about how you can support your mental health? Book to see Katia for a mini review to find out how you can transform your physical and mental health.
1. De Leon A, Jahns L, Roemmich JN, Duke SE, Casperson SL. Consumption of Dietary Guidelines for Americans Types and Amounts of Vegetables Increases Mean Subjective Happiness Scale Scores: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2022 Jul 1;122(7):1355–62.
2. Wang J, Yeoh EK, Yung TKC, Wong MCS, Dong D, Chen X, et al. Change in eating habits and physical activities before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong: a cross‐sectional study via random telephone survey. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Apr*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
What Color was on your plate today?
Next week we will be talking about
"Blood sugar🩸and mental health
"You should know that there is a different way to live. To be truly happy, full of energy, with a clear head and a beautiful body. I know you can feel great, and I will accompany you on this path."
Katia is one of the first UK-trained Nutritional Therapists to practice in Hong Kong. A hormonal health specialist solving menstrual problems and women's hormonal conditions (e.g. PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, and chronic stress-related disorders), she guides women to reclaim control of their bodies and emotions. Katia also works with clients to optimise their nutrition to help achieve various goals such as improved energy, better sleep, enhanced athletic performance and recovery, and weight loss.