I love walking through the produce section of my local grocery store. I see it as the healthy version of Candy Land, knowing the sweetness of what surrounds me is going to nourish my body and soul with every enjoyable bite. It’s like being in a beautiful garden of abundant color, and it’s the freshness that gets me. You know how you can pick up a bunch of herbs and still smell the farm it came from? I love that—and I love the colors even more.
When I put my shopping cart in park and take in the 360-degree, rainbow-hued view, I know it’s not just eye-candy I’m appreciating. All these fruits and veggies in all their many colors represent unique opportunities to eat better and protect our health every single day.
How does color come into play with your diet and why should you care? Read on to see what the produce rainbow is all about.
Why should you “eat the rainbow”?
“Eating the rainbow” is a fun way to talk about eating a variety of different-colored fruits and vegetables. While we’re used to talking about “getting in our greens,” it’s not just the green stuff that’s good for us.
Scientists have discovered that every color you see in the produce section or in a garden offers a unique array of health benefits. When you focus on eating colors from the whole rainbow rather than just a shade or two, you’re giving your body all the fuel it needs to run at its peak, not just bits and pieces.
A quick guide to the benefits of each fruit and vegetable color
When it comes to eating well, there’s no one color of fruits or vegetables that’s more important than any other. All the nutrients imparted by each shade are essential to the way your body functions, which is why a balanced diet incorporates a variety of color rather than highlighting one or two.
Even if you start small, it’s important to know that just a teaspoon a day can be beneficial. Bonus: It’s always fun to see how many colors you can fit into your day.
Here’s a look at the benefits of each color in the produce rainbow:
- Red foods offer anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, heart- and liver-health benefits. Red foods include: apples, red beans, bell peppers, cherries, onions, grapes, potatoes, watermelons, tomatoes, and strawberries.
- Orange foods offer anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, and immune-, reproductive-, and skin-health benefits. Orange foods include: cantaloupe, carrots, oranges, pumpkin, sweet potato, turmeric, and yams.
- Yellow foods offer anti-cancer and -inflammatory benefits and are promotors of eye, heart, skin, and vascular health. Yellow foods include: apples, Asian pears, bananas, bell peppers, corn, ginger, lemons, pineapple, and summer squash.
- Green foods help with hormone balance as well as the health of your brain, immune system, heart, liver, and skin. Green foods include: apples, artichokes, avocados, Bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, green beans, peas, olives, limes, and zucchini.
- Blue, purple, and black foods offer anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits and are great for your brain, heart, and liver. These foods include: bell peppers, dark berries, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, grapes, kale, olives, potatoes, prunes, and raisins.
- White, tan, and brown foods are anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and offer gastrointestinal-, heart-, hormone-, and liver-health benefits. These foods include: applesauce, beans, cauliflower, coconut, cocoa, coffee, garlic, jicama, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, onions, and whole grains.
How to get started eating the rainbow
- Highlight one new fruit or vegetable color each day. This is a great way to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed by your new diet.
- Eat a few different colors every day rather than ticking off every single shade. This approach can help you incorporate new colors with your standard go-to produce picks.
- Try a recipe that uses a new-to-you produce item on a day off. If you like to cook, this is the perfect way to create fun and excitement with change.
Would you like to add color into your life but don’t know where to begin?
For me, helping people live their healthiest life is all about meeting my clients where they’re at—and supporting them in where they want to go. If you want to start small or go big, I can help you do that.
Let’s have some fun learning how to eat the rainbow. Contact me today for a FREE discovery session.