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We’ve heard how important it is to include colorful fruits and vegetables in our diets. Those foods with vibrant colors contain powerful nutrients that sustain a healthy body.
What does it mean, to eat the rainbow?
And which foods pack the most health benefits?
Check out the following info and then have fun, creating colorful meals that boost the immune system and deeply nourish the body.
Eat the Rainbow
The typical diet consists of fast foods and packaged meals and snacks. These highly processed foods, loaded with fats, sugars and additives, do little to nourish the body. Rather, they contribute to poor health, illnesses and diseases.
A diet built around a variety of fruits and vegetables provides benefits that nurture the body, creating optimal health and wellness. Colorful produce contains healing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Eating the rainbow of fruits and veggies is an easy way to ensure the body remains strong and healthy. And a strong, healthy body is better able to resist illnesses and thrive.
The colors in fruits and vegetables are derived from natural compounds that help protect the plants from harmful bacteria and viruses and the sun’s rays. Those same phytochemicals offer protection to us as well.
Red Fruits & Vegetables
Phytochemicals: lycopene, citrulline and ellagic acid
Benefits: helps fight cancer, reduces risks of heart disease and diabetes, improves skin health and vision
Red fruits and vegetables to include: strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, red skinned apples, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, red onions, pomegranates, red peppers, tomatoes, beets, radishes
Orange & Yellow Fruits & Vegetables
Phytochemicals: vitamin C, beta-carotene, hesperidin (in citrus fruits)
Benefits: boosts immune system and cell growth, reduces risks of heart disease and stroke, improves eye health, increases blood flow, protects skin from sun damage, keeps joints healthy
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables to include: oranges, grapefruits, lemons, mangoes, pineapple, papayas, peaches, cantaloupes, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, yellow summer squash, corn, orange and yellow peppers, golden beets
Green Fruits & Vegetables
Phytochemicals: lutein, isoflavones, isothiocyanates, folate, vitamin K
Benefits: boosts the immune system, detoxifies the body, restores energy and vitality, helps maintain a healthy pregnancy, improves mood, repairs DNA damage, improves digestion, protects body against colds and viruses and disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia
Green fruits and veggies to include: green grapes, green apples, kiwi fruit, limes, avocado, cucumber, broccoli, celery, kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, cilantro, green beans, peas, zucchini
Blue & Purple Fruits & Vegetables
Phytochemicals: anthocyanins, resveratrol, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, vitamin C
Benefits: protects against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurological diseases, improves brain health and memory, reduces inflammation, repairs damage from oxidative stress, slows the aging process, normalizes blood pressure, supports liver and kidney health, heals urinary tract infections, helps to prevent colds and flu.
Blue and purple fruits and veggies to include: blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, plums, prunes, figs, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple carrots, purple sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, purple cauliflower, purple kale, purple asparagus
White & Brown Fruits & Vegetables
Phytochemicals: allicin, quercetin, sulforaphane, anthoxanthins
Benefits: protects against cancer, strengthens bones, supports heart health, lowers cholesterol, balances hormones, reduces inflammation
White and brown fruits and vegetables to include: bananas, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms, parsnips, Daikon radishes, jicama
Best Ways to Eat the Rainbow
Chopped salads, veggie bowls, soups and stir fries are great ways to eat the rainbow.
Combine fresh fruits together for a refreshing salad. Include berries, chopped mangoes, pineapples, oranges, sliced bananas…all of your favorite fruits.
One of my favorite meals is a chopped veggie salad. Tear dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and arugula into small, bite sized pieces. Don’t fill a bowl with greens and then sprinkle on veggies. Make the greens part of the chopped salad without allowing them to dominate it.
Add a variety of veggies, chopped in a mini food processor. I like to include tomatoes, red, orange and green peppers, red onion, radishes, mushrooms, avocado, carrots, celery, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, yellow squash, broccoli and cauliflower. Whatever fresh produce I have on hand in the fridge or pantry, goes into the salad. After combining well, I pop the salad into the fridge and let it chill for at least a couple of hours. This combines the flavors. It is SUCH a tasty meal.
For stir fry chop or slice veggies, quickly fry in vegetable broth or a small amount of coconut oil and serve over brown rice or riced cauliflower. Or create a big pot of vegetable soup.
Eat the Rainbow and Improve Health
Have fun adding as many colorful foods to your diet as possible. Not only do these foods create a beautiful, nutritious meal, they feed the body at a cellular level. Use as many fresh, organic non GMO fruits and vegetables as possible, leaving the skins on when you can, for the best nutritional value.
Make salads, run fruits and veggies through the juicer, combine fruits in smoothies, stir fry vegetables, steam them in the instant pot, cut fruits and vegetables up and eat them as a snack with sugar free peanut butter or dairy free yogurt.
I challenge you, in a playful way, to go beyond the occasional apple or banana. Get creative in adding more and more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Trust me, your body will thank you by responding with increased health and vitality.
You are what you eat, the saying goes. Be a rainbow.
Make chopping veggies easy with this mini chopper:
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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.