Containing a massive 690 times the polyphenols of light green iceberg lettuce, this showgirl of the salad bowl with its frizzy edges and a bright red fringe is as beautiful as it is nutrient dense. Polyphenols are the same compounds that give blueberries and black grapes their apparent protective effects, which may reduce the incidence of a host of degenerative diseases.
Why grow and eat a rainbow? The dazzling colours of fruit and vegetables are given to them by a range of natural compounds which can be beneficial to health. In fact, research has shown that diets rich in these colourful crops may reduce the risk of a whole range of diseases, from heart disease to cancer. That’s why doctors and dietitians recommend we ‘Eat a Rainbow’. To help you on your way, we have researched hundreds of varieties to find those with the very highest levels of these nutrients.
James Wong has spent 2 years trawling through over 3,000 research papers to learn how to boost the nutrition in selected plants and has written a book called ‘How to Eat better’ which includes practical tips and tricks.
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For container growing – sow thinly, direct into compost. For raised beds try sowing in 30cm (12") squares, spacing a few seeds every 15cm (6") 1.3cm (½") deep. Germination 6-12 days. As the seedlings emerge, remove spare seedlings to leave one per ‘station’ (thus you will have finally 4 plants per square). Alternatively sow in rows 30cm (12") apart. Sowing - Cropping: 8-12 weeks.