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Eat the rainbow

Harness the benefits of the rainbow of colours in fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables that are rich in colour contain high levels of vitamins such as vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene. They also contain hundreds of colourful phytochemicals that act as antioxidants, which help reduce damage to cells caused by free radicals.

As a result, fruit and vegetables can help protect against a whole host of health problems, including heart disease, certain cancers and even premature ageing. For runners, eating more fruit and vegetables means you’ll be getting more of the nutrients you need to support your running.

The World Health Organisation recommends five portions (400g (14oz)) a day, although some studies have suggested that eating more may have further benefits. An analysis of 95 previous studies found that people eating ten portions (800g (1lb 12oz)) of fruit and vegetables a day had the lowest risk of heart disease and cancer. But if you’re struggling to even eat five a day – and only one in four people manage to do this – don’t worry. Every portion of fruit and veg helps.

Try to choose a rainbow of colours each day – green, red, orange, yellow, white, red and purple. There’s a wide spectrum of colours and each colour has its unique set of disease-fighting phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give fruit and vegetables their vibrant colour and health benefits. Since most act as antioxidants, they help reduce inflammation caused by intense exercise. The distinctive purple colour in blackcurrants and blueberries comes from anthocyanins, which may help reduce post-exercise inflammation. The orange colour in carrots and sweet potatoes comes from beta-carotene, which may help reduce muscle soreness. The deep red colour in tomatoes and watermelon is from lycopene, which has been shown to lower the risk of certain cancers.

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About Vegan Food & Living Magazine

Easter is nearly upon us so it's time to take your vegan treat making skills to the next level with our delicious Easter recipes. With everything from filled Easter eggs to pineapple hot cross buns you'll find something to tempt even the fussiest eater. Also this issue we show you how to taste chocolate properly, cook delicious midweek meals in under 15 minutes, cook up a vegan gourmet feast, and truly pimp your burgers. Also this issue we have a free magazine packed with Gaz Oakley of Avant Garde Vegan's recipes from his new book Vegan 100. Give them a try today!