The Way to Better Health? “Eat the Rainbow”

Malinda Fusco
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When I first transitioned to a plant-based diet, I kept coming across the phrase, “Eat the rainbow!” I quickly found out that my role models were not suggesting we binge-eat skittles. Instead, it means something far different (and healthier).

What does “Eat the Rainbow” actually mean?

“Eat the rainbow” is referring to a diverse, plant-based diet with plenty of colors on your plate. Different colors in vegetables and fruits are going to give other health benefits.

Fruits and vegetables get their coloring from phytochemicals. These phytochemicals also promote better health through vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Many experts say that eating a colorful diet has many protective benefits. Cardiologist Dr. Mozaffarian calls them “protective foods.” He says,

“Many of these foods give rise to new life, planted in the ground under the harshest of conditions, they nurture a new plant life into being…They are what our bodies need as we age.”

But what does each color promote specifically?

The Colors of the Rainbow

Red

Red fruits and vegetables are beautiful and delicious. Not only that, but they are jam-packed with vitamins C and A. They also provide a wealth of antioxidants, which protect your cells against free radicals. This protection can help fight off things like cancer and certain diseases.

Bonus: if you want something savory or sweet, you can find it in red.

Some examples of red fruits and veggies are: strawberries, red beans, tomatoes, apples, and red peppers.

Orange & Yellow

Our orange and yellow fruits and veggies are going to provide a wealth of vitamin C and A, just like red, but also potassium. Potassium is actually a type of electrolyte. It helps keeps your nerves and muscles healthy, and helps the body get rid of waste from your cells.

Orange and yellow fruits and veggies also help boost your immune system and help your vision.

Some examples of orange and yellow fruits and veggies are: carrots, pineapple, melons, oranges, bananas, peaches, and yellow peppers.

Green

Green fruits and veggies are awesome for your heart and blood. They provide potassium, but also vitamin K. Vitamin K helps regulate the blood clotting process throughout your body, giving you healthier blood. Our leafy greens are also going to help strengthen your bones and teeth, giving you a bright smile.

Some examples of green fruits and veggies are: kiwi, kale, spinach, green beans, peas, and broccoli.

Blue & Purple

There’s nothing prettier than bright blue and purple on your plate. Blue and purple foods are full of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanin which improves memory, helps aid in healthy aging, and gives your immune system a hefty boost.

Some examples of blue and purple fruits and veggies are: blueberries, eggplants, grapes, blackberries, elderberries, purple cabbage, and plums.

White

You might think that white fruits and vegetables don’t offer a big benefit because of their “lack of color.” Luckily, you couldn’t be more wrong. White fruits and veggies help control cholesterol. According to the CDC, better cholesterol can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Some examples of white fruits and veggies are: mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, white peaches, pears.

Eat the Rainbow

You don’t need every color on one plate to “eat the rainbow.” But try to incorporate fruits and veggies that have different colors. Maybe start with two different colors, then try for three. It's actually easier than it might seem!

Try to get as many different phytochemicals in your body as possible! Remember, they hold different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for better health.

As long as you’re trying to provide a bright diet for yourself, you’re already doing better than before. So, why not start with your next meal?

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