women

Eat a rainbow

A variety of colors helps to keep us healthy, so eat red, yellow and green fruit and veg – and purple too!

There’s more to a bright bowl of fruit than meets the eye. ‘Different colors indicate the presence of different nutrients and, in particular, natural plant compounds such as polyphenols, which have potential health benefits,’ explains senior nutrition scientist Bridget Benelam of the British Nutrition Foundation. ‘Dark green or orange fruit and veg often contain carotenoids, which are associated with protecting your eyes from macular degeneration,’ she adds.

Description: A variety of colours helps to keep us healthy, so eat red, yellow and green fruit and veg – and purple too!

A variety of colours helps to keep us healthy, so eat red, yellow and green fruit and veg – and purple too!

Although oil soluble, a little salad dressing or drizzle of oil on vegetables can help you absorb more of these compounds. Carrots are rich in beta carotene and dark green leafy veg are also a good source. Lycopene, which has a red colour, is found in tomatoes and is absorbed more easily by the body if the tomatoes are cooked. Add a can of tomatoes or tomato paste to pasta sauces to boost their nutritional benefits.

Description: Lycopene, which has a red colour, is found in tomatoes and is absorbed more easily by the body if the tomatoes are cooked.

Lycopene, which has a red colour, is found in tomatoes and is absorbed more easily by the body if the tomatoes are cooked.

Bright colours count when eating fruit too. ‘The dark purples and reds of berries are often caused by compounds called anthocyanins, which are also found in red wine, and have been linked to heart health benefits,’ explains Bridget.

So top your morning breakfast cereal with a handful of grapes, berries (raspberries and blueberries are particularly good) or even red apple slices.

Sweet Scents

Subtle aromas can add a hint of spring to your home, before the real thing arrives

Organic candles scented with essential oils add a gentle perfume to living rooms, dining areas and bedrooms, while diffusers are decorative too.

‘Naturally scented candles with pure essential oils, such as lemongrass and tea tree, are less overwhelming than floral scents,’ advises Jane Robson, founder of The Fine Cotton Company.

Description: Organic candles scented with essential oils add a gentle perfume to living rooms, dining areas and bedrooms, while diffusers are decorative too.

Organic candles scented with essential oils add a gentle perfume to living rooms, dining areas and bedrooms, while diffusers are decorative too.

Ashleigh and Burwood’s fragranced catalytic lamps, from £19.50, perfume the air and destroy airborne bacteria and dust mites. For something stronger that’s not overpowering, try Febreze products, which trap and eliminate odours before releasing a light scent.

Description: Ashleigh and Burwood’s fragranced catalytic lamps, from £19.50, perfume the air and destroy airborne bacteria and dust mites.

Ashleigh and Burwood’s fragranced catalytic lamps, from £19.50, perfume the air and destroy airborne bacteria and dust mites.

Its Fabric Refresher, from £2.80, is useful for getting rid of smells from upholstery and dry-clean-only clothes. Oreck’s Carpet and Room Refresher, £11, and scented vacuum cleaner bag tablets, £9.97 for 24, work on a similar principle, while Air Wick’s Odour Detect, £9.99, releases the air freshener only when it detects a smell in the air.

Cut food waste the easy way

We throw away 7,2 million tonnes of food each year and, according to lovefoodgatewaste.com, it costs the average family £680

Understand food labelling

‘Use by’ means food can be eaten up to the end of the ‘use-by’ date but not after, even if it looks OK. ‘Best before’ refers to food quality not food safety. When the date has passed, the food won’t be unsafe, but it might be past its best. ‘Display until’ is designed only for shop staff and doesn’t refer to food safety.

Description: Understand food labelling

Understand food labelling

 Don’t cook too much food

It’s easy to do, especially with pasta and rice dishes, but instead of piling up your plate, freeze leftovers.

Description:  Don’t cook too much food

Don’t cook too much food

 Clearly label the leftovers you freeze

If you can’t identify it, you’ll probably throw it away in a few months.

Description: Clearly label the leftovers you freeze

Clearly label the leftovers you freeze

Plan your meals

You’ll save money and cut waste. Before you shop, write down a menu for the week with ingredients for each dish so you’re not tempted to buy too much.

Description: Plan your meals

Plan your meals

Turn it into compost

Some food waste is unavoidable — nobody wants to eat eggshells, potato peelings and carrot tops — but composting will turn it into nutritious feed for your garden. If you don’t have space, talk to your council about food waste collections in your area.

Description: Turn it into compost

Turn it into compost

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