Do you eat the rainbow?

My kids hear me say this often “Did you eat the rainbow today?” What does that mean to you? To me it means eating a variety of COLORFUL vegetables and fruits throughout the day. Incorporating vegetables in your diet in one of the best food choices you can make. Make sure you are eating a variety of vegetables, make you plate a colorful masterpiece of delicious vegetables and fruits.

If you have kids it’s fun to make a game out of trying to eat as many different colors of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. This also means you need to have all those produce stocked in you fridge. Go to the store with your kids and let them pick out the produce, encourage them to pick something different, something they may not usually eat. Go home and make something yummy with the ingredients you bought with your kids. I love to lightly steam my veggies and then add some coconut oil to it before serving. A huge salad of vegetable is a great lunch or dinner option too. Your possibilities of how to cook your vegetables are endless!

This salad was my post workout meal. It was a delicious blend of green spinach, red, orange & yellow peppers, purple cabbage, green avocados, green peas, red homemade salsa (which I use as my dressing) and pink wild caught salmon. This meal will fill you up, add some healthy proteins to your diet and revive your energy after a workout. 

 

Below is a great article from the LIVESTRONG website on phytochemical which are responsible for producing the color in vegetables and fruits.

Read it and then start eating YOUR rainbow daily!

According to the Produce for Better Health, PBH, it is no longer enough to eat your “greens.” Nutrition and health researchers are learning that eating your blues, reds, yellows, oranges, purples, and even whites are also important for your health. An easy and fun way to remember to eat your fruits and vegetables is by thinking of eating the different colors of the rainbow. This ensures giving your body a wide range of valuable nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. In addition to these nutrients, fruits and vegetables are filled with disease-fighting chemicals known as phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals

 

Phytochemicals are healthful chemicals found in fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals may be referred to as antioxidants, flavonoids, isoflavones, carotenoids, allyl sulfides, and polyphenols. Phytochemicals are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their color. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, research has shown that eating these powerful nutrients may strengthen the immune system and decrease the risk of certain cancers, type II diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Phytochemicals often work together, so it is important to choose fruits and vegetables from all the color

Examples of red fruits and vegetables are red grapes, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, pink or red grapefruit, tomatoes, beets, radishes, red peppers, rhubarb, cherries, cranberries and red apples. Lycopen and anthocyanins are both powerful antioxidants that give the red group their color. These phytochemicals are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially prostate cancer. They are also linked to heart health and prevention of lung disease. Lycopene and anthocyanins also help to maintain memory function and urinary tract health and fight off infections as well.

Red Fruit and Vegetables

Examples of red fruits and vegetables are red grapes, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, pink or red grapefruit, tomatoes, beets, radishes, red peppers, rhubarb, cherries, cranberries and red apples. Lycopen and anthocyanins are both powerful antioxidants that give the red group their color. These phytochemicals are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially prostate cancer. They are also linked to heart health and prevention of lung disease. Lycopene and anthocyanins also help to maintain memory function and urinary tract health and fight off infections as well.

Green Fruits and Vegetables

Green fruits and vegetables include foods such as kiwi fruit, honeydew melon, avocado, broccoli, spinach, artichoke, zucchini, lettuce, celery, asparagus, edamame, okra, kale, turnip greens and peas. Phytochemicals found in green foods include lutein, zeaxanthin and indoles and are thought to help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. They also assist to speed up the action of enzymes that break down carcinogens as well as strengthen bones and teeth.

Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables

This color category contains fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, yellow peppers, corn, pineapple, carrots, butternut squash, peaches, pumpkin, apricots, tangerines and oranges. Phytochemicals found in this group include carotenoids and bioflavonoids, which help maintain the immune system, slow aging, prevent heart disease, protect against cancer and improve vision health.

White and Tan Fruits and Vegetables

This is often the forgotten color group, yet whites are important, too. Examples from this group are bananas, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, jicama, ginger and turnips. Anthoxanthins, which are in the white/tan group, may help lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and prevent heart disease. Allicin, which has been found to have anti-tumor effects and may especially decrease risk of stomach cancer, is also found in this group.

Purple and Blue Fruits and Vegetables

This group includes foods such as purple cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, black grapes, raisins, eggplant, plums, prunes and figs. Anthocyanins, phenolics, resveratrol may reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease, as well as improve memory and promote healthy aging.

Read more: article on fruit and vegetable colors

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