Tag Archives: eat the rainbow

Why Your Plate Should Resemble A Rainbow

We all know it is important to eat a plethora of fruits and veggies in order to sustain a healthy diet, but ensuring you include produce of all colors in your diet has other merits as well as the obvious. Different colored fruits and veggies harbour helpful phytochemical colorings, each with its own unique benefits. Fruits and veggies fit into color categories: red, green, white/brown, purple/blue yellow/orange and green.

Ruby Red

Red fruits and veggies are more than just a pretty color. That eye-catching pigment is actually called lycopene and it is a heart-healthy antioxidant. It has been extracted and used to treat various ailments such as certain cancers, the human papilloma virus (HPV) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). However, when taken in concentrated supplement form only (fruit is fine) it can be potentially dangerous for pregnant women or men who already have prostate cancer. These risks aren’t fully established, but it is best to be safe than sorry. Some fruits and veggies of the red variety are rhubarb, radishes, tomatoes, apples, cherries and certain berries, among many others.

The Cooler Colors

The blue-purple colored fruits contain a pigment called anthocyanin, which, according to registered dietitian/Dr. Densie Webb of Today’s Dietitian, “Studies in animals and humans suggest that anthocyanins may play important roles in helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cancer. The role of anthocyanins in the prevention of these diseases has been linked to their antioxidant properties, but research now suggests that anthocyanins’ health benefits likely result from unidentified chemical properties beyond their antioxidant capacity.”

Sun Kissed and Colored

Did anyone ever tell you that eating carrots are good for your eyes? Well they were right! Yellow and orange fruit and veggies such as lemons, sweet potato, corn, oranges and grapefruit contain the phytochemical coloring agents, carotenoids. Among these are the infamous beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene and similar coloring agents help protect against diseases of the eyes and help maintain good general eye health.

White, Tan and Brown Produce

What do potatoes, coconuts and cauliflower have in common? While they might not find a spot on a real rainbow, they all fit into the white/brown category of the fruit and veggie rainbow. Many of these foods contain goodies like potassium. When it comes to coloring, these foods contain their own phytochemicals such as allicin, which is known to have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. Now does ginger and garlic as common cold remedies make sense?

Lean Green

While green fruits such as apples and kiwi are great for the system, arguably the best group of the whole rainbow is the green veggie variety. They contain chlorophyll which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help strengthen the immune system and lower cholesterol levels. It has also shown promise in reducing the risks of certain cancers such as breast and colorectal cancer. Coloring aside, leafy greens also contain vitamin K, folic acid and plenty of fibre. If these veggies take up a little more of your plate, there’s nothing wrong with that!

So there you have it, a veritable nutritional kaleidoscope! From us here at DocChat, thanks for visiting, and go eat a rainbow!