They say “For a healthy soul live a colourful life, for a beautiful life live a colourful one, and for a healthy body eat a colourful diet”.
Eating colourful foods is one of the things that make life not only more interesting but healthier as well.
Hence don’t just eat your greens, but eat your reds, oranges, blues, yellows and purples too. And voila! Here we have a Rainbow.
Why the rainbow?
‘Studies show that having optimum number of fruits and vegetables give you good physical and mental health and lowers your risk for diseases’. As you know the food gets its colour from the various Phytonutrient pigments, which provides a wide range of Vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre to your bodies. These micronutrients though needed in very small quantities, are crucial for the proper functioning of your body because they are a part of nearly every process in your body. Lack in any one of them can cause severe health issues. Hence in order to maintain optimum health and fight diseases, you need variety / diversity in your food.
How to incorporate rainbow foods
When procuring or shopping for food, choose colours that you might not have tried before and think of adding something from every colour like purple carrots, purple sweet potato, white onions, red purple cabbage, yellow zucchini etc. Don’t be overwhelmed and stock up a lot of food which may go bad, rather start out by adding a couple of colours and then add more colourful fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.
Benefits of rainbow diet!
More the colour in your diet, better it is for the gut microbiome. Let’s Break the rainbow to understand better.
The antioxidants Lycopene and anthocyanin are mostly responsible for giving plants their red colour. If you want to decrease the risk of diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and cancer then you can incorporate tomatoes, pomegranates, watermelon, strawberries, red bell peppers, cherries in your diet.
Orange colour of carrots, sweet potato, mangoes, papaya, apricots are full of Beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A restores eye health, prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. It reduces the risk of some cancers like cervical and ovarian cancer and also boosts immunity.
Many yellow plants are a great source of Vitamins & Antioxidants like Beta -carotene that play a key role in good health. It reduces the risk of cancer, good for eye and heart health. Bananas are loaded with potassium, pineapples with Vitamin B, mangoes, lemons and yellow bell peppers have high concentration of Vitamin C. Antioxidant Lutein present in yellow colour fights macular degeneration, aids cognitive activity and increases dopamine which is known as a ‘happy hormone’ / feel – good hormone.
Green foods are high in Vitamin K, magnesium, nitrates, folates have a protective effect on heart health, lowers blood pressure and prevents strokes. Dark greens are full of chlorophyll a powerful phytochemical that’s anti-inflammatory, reduces macular degeneration, balances blood sugars, reduces cancer risk and natural detoxicant. Greens like arugula, celery, leafy vegetables, spinach, avocados, asparagus, broccoli, kale, garden cress, bok choy are packed with folate and iron and help in weight loss, digestive health and bone health.
This interesting colour is present in eggplants, plums, purple asparagus, blueberries, purple mulberries, acai berries, blackberries, red cabbage and its eye- catching colour is due to the high concentration of anthocyanins. This super powerful antioxidant protects the brain and nervous system from oxidative stress and inflammation and reduces heart disease. It may also give calmness and boost mood, which in itself is a good reason to include in your diet.
Hippocrates once said ‘food is medicine’! After reading this I am sure you will say ‘colour is medicine’ especially the colours of fruits and plants. Eating a rainbow opens up way to wellness and good health.
The goal is to eat a variety of colourful foods each day.