8 Apr 2011

Let’s make it 5 a day

No, I’m not gonna talk about the five times solah a day as a must for a muslim.

I actually wanna talk on a healthy diet that we all should practice. I didn’t notice that the 5-a-day is actually known worldwide, until the Nutrition team of IMU organizes the Nutrition Week with the slogan of “5 colours a day”.

We all know that we need vegetable and fruit every day in our balance and healthy diet. But we don’t really give attention on how much of a fruit and vegetable portion should we take. So, as a way to practice healthy diet, I forced myself to take the 5-a-day challenge.

What Colour is Your Food?

Red fruits and vegetables
  • coloured by natural plant pigments called "lycopene" or "anthocyanins"
  • contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin
  • reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases
  • i.e. red apples , beets red cabbage, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, red grapes, red peppers, pomegranates, red potatoes, radishes, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables
  • coloured by natural plant pigments called "carotenoids"
  • contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C
  • reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones
  • i.e yellow apples, apricots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears. Yellow peppers, pineapple, pumpkin, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yellow watermelon

Green vegetables and fruit
  • coloured by natural plant pigment called "chlorophyll”
  • contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene
  • reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity
  • i.e green apple, asparagus, avocados, green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, green grapes, honeydew meloin, kiwi, lettuce, limes, peas, green pepper, spinach

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables
  • coloured by natural plant pigments called "anthocyanins”
  • contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin.
  • support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells
  • i.e. blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, figs, juneberries, plums, prunes, raisins, purple grapes

White fruits and vegetables
  • coloured by pigments called "anthoxanthins”
  • contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity
  • activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers
  • i.e. bananas, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, jicama, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, turnips, parsnips

So far, how are you doing? Do you take 5 colours a day?

Anyway, here is the calculator you can use to calculate how many fruits and vegetables do you need according to sex, age and everyday activity. Try it! Also check this 5 a day section in UK NHS website.

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