Taste the rainbow
“Taste the rainbow” has a much bigger meaning than the one Skittles uses it for.
Healthy eating advocates often tell people to “eat the rainbow.” It’s a simple way of reminding you that a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet will get you the vitamins and minerals you need. It also calls out the fact that you can learn a lot about your food just by looking at it. Colorful fruits and veggies contain an abundance of health benefits to the entire body and overall health. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, these foods will give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly and keep you feeling good.In addition to natural colored fruits and veggies, colored herbs are also good for your health. Below, we have listed the colors and some facts we have learned about each color.
Blue and Purple
Blue and purple foods contain lycopene, flavonoids, and vitamins D & K. They help promote bone health, can help lower the risk of certain cancers, improve memory and increase urinary-tract health. This color is due to the fruit’s anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that provide numerous heart health benefits. The darker the blue color, the higher the concentration of phytochemicals in it. Go in for blueberries, eggplants, etc for getting Anthocyanins. Blueberries are especially known for their very high antioxidant levels. Other fruits containing Anthocyanins include pomegranates, blackberries, plums, prunes, etc.
Green represents nature, the environment, and wellness! Green leafy vegetables are rich in chlorophyll as well as isothiocyanates. These reduce carcinogenic agents from the liver. Green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, etc also contain several other anticancer compounds. Apart from these antioxidants, the green cruciferous vegetables are rich in Vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, etc. Green fruits, and veggies are packed with fiber and beta-carotene. These vegetables and fruits are rich in lutein which is very important for eye health. Lutein is especially necessary for elderly people to prevent age-related macular degeneration. Some of this green group includes kale, collards, broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, kiwis, limes, green peppers, and zucchinis.
Red is a strong color of life that can be symbolic of your heart and arteries. The main pigment that gives the red color to fruits and vegetables is Lycopene. It is a powerful antioxidant that is being researched for preventing cancer as well as heart attacks. Lycopene is also useful for protecting prostate health and maintaining breast tissue. A lot of red fruits and veggies serve as a great source for heart health and can help prevent heart disease. Juicy tomatoes, sweet strawberries, crispy red peppers, and spicy red cayenne peppers are just a few of the foods in this red hot color. Red fruits and veggies are filled with vitamin C, vitamin A, and lycopene.
Red fruits and vegetables are also rich in flavonoids, resveratrol, and vitamin C as well as folates. Resveratrol is abundant in the skin of red grapes and is an antioxidant that is being investigated for its cancer-preventive properties. Examples: grapes, cranberries, tomatoes, watermelons, guava, pink grapefruit, etc.
Red herbs and spices like cinnamon and ground red pepper are also good for your health. Cinnamon spices are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon spice may contain the highest anti-oxidant strength of all food sources in nature. On the other hand, ground red pepper is a great source of vitamins and essential minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, and selenium
Orange as a color represents an abundance of strength and life, and foods this color can help you feel the same way! Yellow represents happiness, joy, and health. Fruits and veggies provide a wide range of health benefits and are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the best-known nutrient in orange/yellow foods and serves as the powerful antioxidant that gives sunny, yellow, and orange fruits and veggies their bright color. Beta-carotene, a vitamin A retinoid, is good for eye health and anti-aging. Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body, especially in the eyes. Orange fruits and veggies are also stock full of vitamin C, another strong antioxidant that boosts the immune system and protects against cardiovascular disease. Tangerines, carrots, pumpkins, peaches, guavas, sweet potatoes, papayas, mangoes, apricots, and oranges all fall under the orange spectrum of the food rainbow.
Carotenoids or beta carotene are responsible for imparting the yellow-orange-red pigment color to certain fruits and vegetables. These are extremely rich in vitamin A and retinol-which is needed for acne and wrinkle prevention. Vitamin A is needed for strong immune function and healthy vision. Research is showing that certain beta carotenes are also useful in preventing cancers of the stomach, esophagus, etc. Examples: Mangoes, apricots, carrots, pumpkins, squashes, tangerines, peaches, guavas, sweet potatoes, papayas, mangoes, and oranges all fall under the orange spectrum of the food rainbow.
Orange/ Yellow herbs, such as goldenseal, can be used as an astringent or antiseptic and if often used to fight the common cold. Dandelion, another yellow herb, is used to assist with weight control, anemia, and indigestion. Ginger is a yellow healing root known to help with nausea, gas, and inflammation. Ginger contains beneficial essential oils that help improve digestion and intestinal inflammation.
No color– Some vegetables have no color on their inside (eggplant). That does not mean they are deficient in nutrients or phytochemicals. In fact; many types of flavonoids are actually colorless and they still help the body counter the free radical formation.
Eating and counting colors
Experts recommend that our diet should consist of rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables to get all their health benefits. So, the next time you shop, take a look at your cart. If you see all green-colored items from the produce section like spinach, Green apples, Kiwis, etc, go back and swap one of the items for oranges, strawberries, or blueberries. There are nearly 4000 phytochemicals available in nature and to get their wonderful health benefits, we need to eat more colored fruits and vegetables daily.
So have you planted an array of colors in your garden? Pick up your seeds for planting now. If you’d rather not do the planting we love that too, just place an order and we can help with all your needs with our subscription service.