Why do Nutritionists commonly say ‘Eat the Rainbow’? What we mean by this is we recommend you eat a variety of natural foods that are of different colours. Here are 3 reasons:

  1. For their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hormone balancing and cancer-protecting properties! Vegetables and fruits are coloured to protect them in nature – different colours give different protective effects through their phytochemicals. When we eat a range of naturally coloured foods (ie the spectrum of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple), we gain the range of these benefits. See below for a list and examples.
  2. Want a healthy gut? Our gut bacteria feed off the fibres we eat, and we are healthiest with a broad range of bacteria – which comes from a broad range of foods.
  3. Wellbeing and happiness comes alongside increased consumption of vegetables and fruit, as well as links between colours of foods and emotional benefits – check out Deanna Minich’s work!  

For example: 

Reds: Contain lycopene, an antioxidant for heart health and cancer protection:

Apples, red bell peppers, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, red grapes, radishes, raspberries, plums, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon.

Orange: Carotenes for skin and eye health.

Apricots, orange bell peppers, butternut squash, Cantaloupe melon, carrots, mangoes, oranges, papaya, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams.

Yellow:  Beta cryptothanxin for heart health and cancer protection.

Bananas, yellow bell peppers, lemons, pineapple, squash.

Green/white: So many benefits from this group! Anti-cancer benefits from indoles in bok choy, cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts. The onion family, including garlic, contain allicin for cancer protection and immune support from quercetin.

Green apples, avocados, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, courgette, fennel, kiwi fruit, lettuce, onions, garlic, limes, artichoke, asparagus, green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, cucumbers, green grapes, green beans, honeydew melons, kale, leeks, mustard greens, peas, spinach, Swiss chard.

Blue/purple: Anthocyanins for heart health, brain health, and may delay aging.

Aubergine, beetroot, blackberries, blueberries, red cabbage, cherries, currants, purple grapes, red onion, red pears and purple plums. 

Fun ways to include getting your colours can be to:

– use a colour wheel recipe selector: https://www.healthier.qld.gov.au/tools/colour-recipe-wheel/

– choose colours when you shop!

– Get creative with your foods – don’t be afraid to add fruit into salads (like grapes)

– Variety is key – don’t always go for the same veggies and fruits! Try out a different variety of the same, or a different one altogether!

If you find you ‘know all this’ but need some help incorporating this into your diet, contact me for a one-off health review, running from June-August at a special price of £45.

http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/eat-rainbow