Nutrition Time: Why Eating the Rainbow Is Really Good for You
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with medicine, but rather will cure and prevent disease with good nutrition.” — Thomas Edison
They say you are what you eat. And that is indeed true. You know that consuming too much sugar and unhealthy fats can put you at risk of obesity and diabetes as well as other health issues.
Prevention is better than a cure. And one way to do that is to feed your body with a balanced diet and proper nutrition. But what is really a balanced diet?
What do you call a balanced diet?
Doctors and health care professionals highly encouraged eating the rainbow in order to illustrate a balanced and nutritious diet. And that suggests your meals (regardless if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater) should include colorful fruits and vegetables.
By colorful, that means eating foods that are under the colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
Generally, plants contain phytonutrients and chlorophyll that give them their color. Both of these are linked to plenty of nutrients, which bring significant health benefits when consumed. While certain fruits contain high levels of vitamin C and antioxidant properties that contribute to stronger immunity and healthy aging.
By getting these varieties of colorful fruits and veggies, you’re giving your body a wide array of vitamins and minerals that will greatly contribute to a healthier body, graceful aging, and longer life.
Eating the rainbow
Here are samples of different fruits and vegetables that you can see in the colors of the rainbow, each with their own health benefits:
Rich in: lycopene, vitamin A, C, K, potassium, folate
Health benefits: keeps heart healthy, good for urinary tract, rich in antioxidant, helps reduce the risk of stroke, contributes to good cognitive function such as sharper memory and focus, prevents or fight cancer, lowers the risk of sun-related skin damage, anti-inflammatory
Food sources: tomato, apple, cherries, red bell peppers, strawberries, pomegranate, watermelon, beets, red cabbage, cranberries, radish, red chili peppers, grapefruit, pink guava
ORANGE & YELLOW
Rich in: carotenoids (alpha carotene, beta carotene, beta cryptoxanthin), folate, potassium, fiber, vitamin C
Health benefits: keeps immune system strong, contributes to healthy skin, is anti-inflammatory, good for the vision, helps prevent cancer
Food sources: squash, mango, carrots, pineapple, orange, tangerine, papaya, orange, yellow & orange bell peppers, butternut, sweet potatoes
Rich in: carotenoids, chlorophyll, lutein, magnesium, potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin A & K
Health benefits: protects eyes by slowing down age-related eye degeneration, anti-inflammatory, helps prevent cataracts, assists in the healthy development of babies in the womb, helps prevent blood clots, keeps bones, nails, and teeth strong, rich in antioxidant
Food sources: avocados, all dark and light green vegetables, custard apple, kiwifruit, green grapes, honeydew
BLUE, INDIGO & VIOLET
Rich in: anthocyanins, antioxidants, potassium, manganese, vitamin B, C, & K, fiber
Health benefits: helps improve memory, keeps skin young, lowers the risk of heart disease & stroke, helps regulate blood pressure, aids in fighting cancer
Food sources: blueberries, blackberries, eggplants, grapes, purple cabbage, plums, elderberries, purple kale, purple onion
Bonus colors: WHITE & BROWN
Rich in: allicin, anthoxanthins, potassium, manganese, fiber, magnesium, fiber folate, vitamin B & K
Health benefits: helps lower cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, helps fight cancer, keeps bones strong & healthy, antioxidant, good for the heart, helps lower the risk of developing colon cancer
Food sources: white potatoes, garlic, Chinese white pear, mushrooms, cauliflower, daikon radish, garlic, kiwi, dates, tamarind, coconut
Incorporating these colorful fruits and vegetables to your daily meal is a great way to eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
Make sure to purchase organic and fresh foods in order to maximize more of its health benefits. You can also try seasonal eating for a more practical, yet delicious way to boost your health.
Try eating the rainbow and at least have two to three fruits and vegetables to your meal and snacks. You can freely add more if you like!
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