The Importance of Eating The Rainbow
Summer is here! I love this time of the year for the warmer weather, beach day, picnics, and all the wonderful colors that show up! It is the perfect time to dive in more with our food.
Fruits and vegetables are at their peak with nutrients and filled with color!
Reaching for produce that is rich in color is a great advantage when trying to stay healthy as possible. The saying "Eat at the rainbow" is starting to be heard in all directions. This is for the known fact that each color tells us the importance of how a fruit or vegetable can add to our health.
Plants contain compounds called phytonutrients, which are antioxidants that benefit us when we consume them. These compounds help us fight off disease, protect us from germs, and keep our daily functions in line.
So what does each color mean and why is it important? Let's dive in to see!
Red is definitely a color that brings attention to itself. This color is known for its carotenoid lycopene. This compound fights against heart disease and genetic damage. We are all familiar with some red foods such as red apples, strawberries, watermelon, red bell peppers and of course, tomatoes.
Blue-purple would be fruits and vegetables such as eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, beets, and red cabbage. These foods contain anthocyanin which have been known to help to slow down aging and prevent block clots.
These foods are a great source of lutein, isothiocyanates, and isoflavones. These assist with bone health and cleansing the blood. Foods such as cabbage, arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale are all great choices for these vital nutrients and for detoxification.
Under this color in the rainbow, these foods provide strong anticancer, anti-tumor, and immune boosting properties that allow us to fight off infections, colds, and flu more easily. These foods contain large amounts of antioxidants as well as antimicrobial benefits. Some of these foods would be onions, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes, and parsnips.
A vibrant color such as this one represents Vitamins A and C, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene which helps to protect against cancer, benefits the skin, vision, and improve blood circulation. Foods that are rich in these nutrients are oranges, carrots, papayas, cantaloupe, orange and yellow peppers, and yellow squash to name a few.
This category of color can be tricky to the eye. The foods under this color benefit our eyes and protect our hearts from cardiovascular issues due to the properties from the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Food under this color would be spinach, yellow corn, peas, avocado, collard greens, and mustard.
There are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that have amazing benefits to help our bodies heal, protect against cancer, colds, and flu. Even benefit our skin, circulation, and the different systems of our body and so on. The rainbow provides a cheat sheet of what to incorporate in our diets to ensure we get all the necessary nutrients needed to keep us healthy and strong.
So the next time you are at the grocery store, take a look at all of the wonderful colors in the produce section and diversify your palate with the colors of the rainbow!