Benefits to eating the rainbow:
The color of food can tell you a lot of information about the nutrients is contains. Eating a variety of colorful foods will nourish you with a wide array of phytonutrients to keep you functioning at your best.
Reds: Are associated with helping fight cancer, reducing risk of diabetes and heart disease, and promoting healthy skin. They have powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. The main phytonutrient in reds is lycopene (from the vitamin A family).
Red foods to try: red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, kidney beans, beets, pomegranate, apple, cherries
Yellow & Orange: Immune function, promote eye health, reduce risk of heart disease. These colored vegetables and fruits are high in vitamin C. The main phytonutrient in yellows and oranges is carotenoids. Carotenoids are sometimes able to be converted to Vitamin A in the body to help with vision and cell growth.
Yellow/Orange foods to try: oranges, grapefruits, lemon, mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, pineapple, peaches, bananas
Greens: Immune support, Detoxification, Energy, vitality.
Green veggies are some of the healthiest foods we can consume. They are rich many types of vitamins such as Vitamin K and folate. They have also been associated with enhanced immune function, improved mode, and slower rates of cognitive decline. Leafy greens contain the phytonutrients chlorophyll and carotenoids. Cruciferous greens (ex: broccoli) contain phytonutrients indoles, isothiocyanates, and glucosinolates.
Green foods to try: Broccoli, kale, collard greens, brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach, green beans, peas, zucchini, kiwi, avocado, edamame.
Blue & Purple Reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, cognitive support, decrease inflammation, improve skin health, and even lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The main phytonutrient found in this color is anthocyanins.
Blue/purple foods to try: Blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, purple cabbage, plums, prunes, eggplant, purple cauliflower, figs, rasins.
White & Brown: Protect against cancer, strong bones, heart healthy. This main phytonutrient of this class is anthoxanthins.
White/brown foods to try: Cauliflower, garlic, onion, mushrooms, potatoes, radishes.
Eating the rainbow may be easier than you think! Try to incorporate three different colored fruits or vegetable in your meals and add them to your snacks. If you have access to fresh produce, try to eat what is in season at the time for food most rich in phytonutrients. By aiming for a few different colors each day, you are setting yourself up for good health.