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Make food diversity your routine

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Now the holidays are over, and the traffic spills back onto the roads, life for most of us returns to normal. The kids are back at school, parents at work or home and routine resumes. For most people routine makes life easier to manage. On one hand it's a good thing as routine helps us fit in everything we want and need to do; exercise, kids' school runs, shopping, visiting relatives and all the work and household stuff that fills in the rest of our hours. On the other hand routine is never a good thing when our diet is rigid and unchanging. If we buy the same food every week to make the same meals, not only is it boring but it also reduces the potential to obtain the maximum number of nutrients available to you when you enjoy a diverse diet.

That's why we publish Market Fresh each week.

Most of us now we need protein, fat and carbohydrates, and that good protein is found in the form of lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs and milk and from non-animal sources such as beans, pulses and to a lesser extent nuts and seeds. Good fats are found in nuts and seeds, avocado, olives and, in lesser amounts, butter and cheese.

With carbohydrates the list is endless and separating the good from the bad can be a problem unless you shop at your local greengrocer.

Fruits and vegetables all contain carbohydrate to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how much water is also in them. They also contain fibre and an endless amount of different phytochemicals which the body needs to finesse its function. It's important to understand that there is a huge number of phytochemicals found in the wide range of fruit and vegetables out there and research has identified the range of health benefits they each provide - up and down the body.

Take a look at a few of this week's market specials - they all contain carbohydrate which we need to make glucose to feed the brain but they do much more than that.

Rockmelon - is extremely high in potassium which help to lower blood pressure and is also an excellent source of beta-carotene which helps reduce the risk of various cancers.

Snake beans - (and other green beans) contain carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene associated with reducing the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and colon cancer.

Tomato - are rich in the antioxidant lycopene thought to be even more powerful than Vitamin C in protecting the body from cancer. Note: more antioxidants are created when the tomatoes are cooked - such as to make passata)

Sweetcorn - is an excellent fibre-rich carbohydrate foods and contains beta-crypto xanthin, a carotenoid associated with a reduced the risk of lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Simply by eating four of this week's market specials you can help protect your heart, lungs, eyes and colon, which is not bad when you think it's as easy as having some sliced rockmelon at breakfast, tomato in a salad or sandwich at lunch, and sweetcorn with snake beans to accompany your evening meal.

This year make food diversity your routine. Buy the fruit and vegetables published in the weekly Market Fresh report and plan your weekly meals around them. You'll not only enjoy a diverse and interesting diet, eating will be a greater pleasure and your whole body will benefit from it.


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