Think summer market-fresh colours for healthy eating!

If you stroll through your local farmer’s market, it’s hard not to be inspired to cook fresh and cook colourful – the perfect combination for a healthy eating strategy this summer! 

Carrots Char

We took that into account when developing our new Market-fresh Plates Recipe collection + video set – with recipes done with Foodland Ontario to ensure we used the best in-season veggies. (Get your Market-fresh Grilling Steak ‘teaser recipe + video’ here!)*

Steak with Succotash

As a registered dietitian, I take my cue from summer’s bounty and let the colours of the season shape my plate to healthy eating. As in nature, colour is health – a colourful garden is a healthy garden; similarly, a colourful diet is a healthy diet.

Rhubarb Tomatoes Zucchini

Just how colourful is your plate? One quick but impactful way to think about the nutritional quality of your meal is to consider how colourful it is. Like butterflies are to flowers, we’re naturally attracted to bright colours — let’s put that natural attraction to good work in our daily food choices. In nature, foods that are more brightly coloured have more nutrients. For example, dark green spinach has more nutrients than Boston lettuce, brown rice more than white rice and even dark meat more than light meat.  The pigments in nature that colour our food are actually nutrients. The bright yellow in an egg yolk is due to carotenoids (these support eye health and the prevention of some diseases), the blue in blueberries is an antioxidant, the higher iron content in beef makes it redder than chicken.

Colour is nature’s way of pointing us in the right direction.  Consider the colour (and health) difference between a hot dog on a white bun with fries compared with a beef and veggie kabob, served with quinoa and a California salad.

It’s no coincidence that Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is set on a rainbow.  That’s a healthy way to eat.  The Food Guide even tells us to eat at least one dark green and one orange veggie each day.  Most Canadians fall far short of this goal…  How does your diet compare?

Summer is in full bloom; what better time than to take a cue from Mother Nature.  How many colours have you eaten today?  No time like the present to add some new colours to your ‘plate palette (palate)’.

*OF NOTE: You can get the entire Market-fresh Recipe Collection on our free app: The Roundup : the smart-phone definitive guide for buying and cooking beef.


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