Eating the Rainbow – Challenge Yourself to Try Fruits and Vegetables of Different Colors

To explain the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, health professionals often advise you to “eat a rainbow.

You may know that you should eat colorful fruits and vegetables, but you may wonder why it is so important and if doing so really benefits your health.

The benefits of eating the rainbow:

Simply put, eating a rainbow every day involves eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Plants contain a variety of pigments, or phytonutrients, that give them their color. Plants of different colors are associated with high levels of certain nutrients and health benefits.

While eating more vegetables and fruits is always a good idea, focusing on eating different colors will increase your intake of different nutrients to benefit different areas of your health. Fresh, filling and heart-healthy, fruits and vegetables are an important part of your overall healthy eating plan. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help you control your weight and blood pressure.

Despite the many benefits of phytonutrients, randomized controlled trials are the hardest type of research to prove their effectiveness. As such, most of the research is based on population-level intakes and disease risks, he said, adding that almost all studies benefit from regular consumption of colorful fruits and vegetables with virtually no reduction. By getting a variety of colors in your diet, you are giving your body an array of vitamins, minerals, and photochemical to benefit your health.

So, here’s an overview of the health benefits of different colored foods.

Red:

Fruits and veggies:

  • tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • tomato sauce
  • watermelon
  • pink guava
  • grapefruit

Main phytonutrients:

  • lycopene (from the vitamin A family)

Main vitamins and minerals:

  • folate
  • potassium
  • vitamin A (lycopene)
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K1

Health benefits:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • may benefit heart health
  • may reduce sun-related skin damage
  • may lower your risk of certain cancers

Orange and yellow:

Fruits and veggies:

  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • yellow peppers
  • bananas
  • pineapple
  • tangerines
  • pumpkin
  • winter squash
  • corn

Main phytonutrients:

  • carotenoids (e.g., beta carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin), which belong to the vitamin A family

Main vitamins and minerals:

  • fiber
  • folate
  • potassium
  • vitamin A (beta carotene)
  • vitamin C

Health benefits:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • may benefit heart health
  • supports eye health
  • may lower your risk of cancer

Green:

Fruits and veggies:

  • spinach
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • avocados
  • asparagus
  • green cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • green herbs

Main phytonutrients:

  • Leafy greens: chlorophyll and carotenoids
  • Cruciferous greens (e.g., broccoli, cabbage): indoles, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates

Main vitamins and minerals:

  • fiber
  • folate
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • vitamin A (beta carotene)
  • vitamin K1

Health benefits:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • cruciferous veggies, in particular, may lower your risk of cancer and heart disease

Blue and purple:

Fruits and veggies:

  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • Concord grapes
  • red/purple cabbage
  • eggplant
  • plums
  • elderberries

Main phytonutrients:

  • anthocyanins

Main vitamins and minerals:

  • fiber
  • manganese
  • potassium
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K1

Health benefits:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • may benefit heart health
  • may lower your risk of neurological disorders
  • may improve brain function
  • may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • may lower your risk of certain cancers

Dark red:

 

Fruits and veggies:

  • beets
  • prickly pears

Main phytonutrients:

  • betalains

Main vitamins and minerals:

  • fiber
  • folate
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • potassium
  • vitamin B6

Health benefits:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • may lower your risk of high blood pressure
  • may benefit heart health
  • may lower your risk of certain cancers
  • may support athletic performance through increased oxygen uptake

White and brown:

Fruits and veggies:

  • cauliflower
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • daikon radish
  • parsnips
  • white potatoes

Main phytonutrients:

  • anthoxanthins (flavonols, flavones), allicin

Main vitamins and minerals:

  • fiber
  • folate
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • potassium
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin K1

Health benefits:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • may lower your risk of colon and other cancers
  • may benefit heart health

Tips to boost fruits and vegetables to your diet:

  • Keep it colorful Challenge yourself to attempt foods grown from the ground of various tones. Make it a red/green/orange day (apple, lettuce, carrot), or check whether you can burn-through a rainbow of foods grown from the ground during the week.

 

  • Add it on. Add products of the soil to nourishments you love. Have a go at adding frozen peas to mac’n’cheese, veggies on top of pizza, and cuts of a natural product on top of breakfast cereals or low-fat frozen yogurt.

 

  • Mix them up. Add products of the soil to food that is cooked or heated, or blend vegetables in with pasta sauces, lasagnas, dishes, soups, and omelets. Blending new or frozen berries into flapjacks, waffles or biscuits is another extraordinary method to make foods grown from the ground a piece of each dinner.

 

  • Roast away. Take a stab at cooking vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, tomatoes, or eggplant. Long openness to high warmth will make these food sources caramelize, which upgrades their characteristic pleasantness and decreases harshness.

 

  • Enjoy vegetable scoops. Hack crude vegetables into reduced down pieces. Attempt ringer peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery, and dunk your top picks into low-fat or sans fat dressings. Plunge tip: Read the food mark of sauces and dressings to ensure they are not over-burden with immersed fat and salt.

 

  • Sip smoothies. Smoothies are an extraordinary method to build the measure of natural product you eat and they’re truly simple to make. A fundamental smoothie is simply a frozen natural product, some low-fat or non-fat milk and additionally yogurt, and 100% organic product squeeze all prepared together in a blender until smooth. Investigation with various natural products to discover what you truly like. Note that some cholesterol-bringing down meds may connect with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, pomegranate, and pomegranate juice. Kindly converse with your medical care supplier about any possible dangers.

 

  • Try natural product pops. Put 100% organic product juice on an ice plate and freeze it short-term. You can eat the natural product blocks as small-scale popsicles or put them in different juices. Frozen seedless grapes make regular smaller than normal popsicles and are an incredible summer treat.

 

  • Enjoy natural product treats. New or canned organic product in light syrup or normal natural product juice, gelatin containing foods grown from the ground organic product are acceptable decisions for a pastry

How to do it:

The great thing about eating the rainbow is it’s easy to implement.

To eat the rainbow, try to incorporate two to three different-colored fruits or vegetables at every meal and at least one at every snack. While you don’t have to eat every single color every day, try to get them into your diet a few times per week. Here are some ideas:

Breakfast:

  • an omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and orange bell peppers
  • a smoothie with mango, banana, and dragon-fruit
  • a Greek yogurt bowl with blueberries, kiwi, and strawberries
  • a breakfast egg sandwich with tomato, leafy greens, and avocado

Lunch or dinner:

  • a mixed salad with green cabbage, lettuce, apple, shredded carrots, red pepper, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes paired with a protein source (e.g., kidney beans, chickpeas, grilled chicken, salmon)
  • chicken with roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and garlic
  • homemade soup with canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, chopped carrots, white potatoes or parsnip, and kale
  • a goat cheese salad with pickled beets, arugula, avocado, and pecans
  • spaghetti with tomato sauce, mushrooms, and zucchini

Snacks:

  • an apple with peanut butter
  • red pepper slices with hummus
  • grapes and cheese
  • a green smoothie or juice
  • a banana
  • blueberries and yogurt
  • broccoli, carrots, and dip
  • dried mango slices
  • 4–5 longan or lychee fruit
  • edamame pods
  • celery and melted cheese

The opportunities to include fruits and vegetables into your diet are endless. If you live in an area without fresh produce year-round, try purchasing frozen fruits and vegetables for some meals. They’re equally nutritious, accessible, and affordable.

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