Eating the Rainbow: Enjoy an Array of Brightly Colored Fruits and Vegetables for Rich Nutrition
Help reduce blood sugar, lower cholesterol, fight obesity, reverse heart disease, lower blood pressure, prevent vision problems… you name it and we attribute the possibility of these wonder cures to the food we eat, specifically to fruits and vegetables. But which ones should you choose for optimum results? From my reading, I think the best bet is to not concentrate on just one favorite fruit or vegetable but to get into the habit of eating a variety. How to go about this? Eating the Rainbow is one approach.
I love bright colors. Consequently, I love looking at and eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables. I've been reading that by filling your plate with a rainbow of color, you’re more likely to eat a diet rich in all the nutrients needed to promote health and energy.
Each of the colors in our nutritious rainbow contributes different attributes of goodness to your diet. Here’s a quick overview to get you started. And, to provide more detail, I’ll be devoting the next few blog posts to addressing what each color has to offer.
Part 1: Red
Red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, beets, red grapes, cherries, red peppers, etc., offer antioxidants galore from lycopene. Consequently, they help prevent cancer.
Part 2: Orange and Yellow
Examples of orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are butternut squash (great to use as a soup base), carrots, oranges, pineapples, pumpkin, etc. The orange and yellow colored fruits and vegetables generally help lower the risk of vision problems, heart disease and cancer. So much goodness.
Part 3: Green
Green fruits and vegetables are well known for chlorophyll. That’s the main nutrient. They also have vitamins, beta-carotene and loads of fiber. They help digestion, lower the risk of cancer as well and help your immune system. Gotta love your greens.
Part 4: Blue, Purple and Black
There’s a powerhouse of nutrients in this color scheme. They also have good benefits for your vision as well as decreasing the risk of cancer and pumping up your immune system.
Part 5: White
Although not a bright, eye-catching color, I can’t leave out the whites, such as onions and mushrooms. They are two of the most powerful foods you can put on your plate. After reading about them, I say, "Eat ‘em every day!" They are known to help protect you against cancer. (Check out our post on mushrooms here.)
Because different nutrients give fruits and vegetables different colors, your best bet is to eat a variety to cover all your bases. So please join me for the series Eating the Rainbow. It is aimed at providing details about choosing colors for good health.