Eating “rainbow food” refers to eating a colorful diet. For many of us, it may be easier and even more pleasing to eat monochromatic foods, especially tan, white, and brown foods, such as bread, rice, cheese, crackers, and other convenient foods that taste good but have less nutrients.
As we learn more about food, we are finding that naturally colorful foods may actually deliver more health benefits, specifically more phytonutrients such as antioxidants and other health-promoting constituents.
Many of these nutrients have disease-preventing properties. By maintaining a varied and colorful whole foods diet, you are laying the foundation for nutritional success. Can you get a minimum of three colors on the plate at your next meal?
- Red Foods such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and guava are often rich in vitamin C and lycopene, which are both powerful antioxidants. Red foods also contain polyphenols, which help to reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy gut barrier.
- Orange / yellow foods such as carrots, squash, cantaloupe, and mango are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, which act as antioxidants, support healthy vision, and promote a healthy immune system.
- Yellow / green foods such as kiwis, avocados, and pistachios typically contain lutein, which is beneficial for eye health, and vitamin C, which is most notable for its antioxidant and immune system support.
- Green foods such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy are naturally rich in chlorophyll and isothiocyanates, which help the body to detox naturally. They’re also rich in vitamin K, folate, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and carotenoids, which perform a variety of biological functions, including forming blood clots, preventing neural tube defects during fetal development, lowering blood pressure, and even protecting against some forms of cancer.
- Blue / purple foods foods such as eggplant, blueberries, plums, pomegranates, and blackberries contain anthocyanins, which are beneficial for heart health and maintaining healthy blood pressure. The darker the blue or purple (and oftentimes deep red), the richer the anthocyanin concentration.
We’re all unique, and can learn so much from each other. Which of these rainbow foods do you eat most often, and why? Please write your response in the comment section below. Thanks!
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