In order to obtain a wide variety of antioxidants, health professionals recommend that you eat the rainbow. This is the concept of eating fruits and vegetables of all different colors to have a perfectly balanced diet. Although eating the rainbow is a popular health mantra, you may not know why it’s so important. Well, the different colors exhibit different nutrients and aligning health properties. The more colors you eat, the more varied your nutritional intake is.
Benefits Of Eating The Rainbow
Some produce items may exhibit more vitamin C than others, while others boast lots of fiber. Plant-based foods are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, but their colorful flesh is where some of the more impressive nutrients exist. Produce items contain different pigments, or phytonutrients, that give them their signature colors, and certain fruits and vegetables have higher levels of specific nutrients than others. Red indicates a high presence of lycopene, while blue and purple indicate the presence of anthocyanins.
A study that consisted of over 77,000 people found that those who consumed the most flavonoid-rich foods had a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline than those who ate the least. The same study found that people who ate the most anthocyanins (found in blue and purple foods) experienced a 24% lower risk of cognitive decline. Finally, people who at the most flavones (found in orange and yellow foods) had a 38% lower risk of decline than those who ate the lowest amount of these foods.
How To Eat The Rainbow
Eating the rainbow is an excellent way to improve your overall health, but how do you do it? If you aren’t very experimental with food, this can prove difficult. If you want to eat the rainbow, it’s best to incorporate two to three different-colored fruits or vegetables at every meal. Enhance your efforts by eating a different color for every snack. Eating all of the colors every single day isn’t necessary, but it’s best to include all the colors a couple times per week. Below, you’ll find several tips on how to enjoy a more colorful diet.
Try New Things
It can be difficult to leave your comfort zone, especially in regards to food. Next time you go to the grocery store or farmer’s market, though, fill your cart with at least one new fruit or vegetable. It’s easier to try new foods if you pick them out yourself. The whole family can benefit if you like the foods! Consider trying a papaya, dragonfruit, golden kiwi, broccolini, golden beet, or rainbow chard.
Throw Something New In Your Smoothie
Be it ginger, turmeric, grapefruit, beets, carrots, or persimmon, adding different produce items to your smoothie is great way to introduce new colors to your diet. Additionally, changing your flavor combinations keeps your taste buds interested in smoothies. Varying your flavors is easy when you incorporate new ingredients into your smoothies. We have many smoothie recipes with different ingredients that you can view by clicking here.
Prepare Them Differently
Don’t let yourself get stuck in a fruit and vegetable rut. When you get bored of produce items, you are less likely to continue eating them. Don’t bore your taste buds by steaming cauliflower every time you want to eat it. Cut it into thick steaks and throw them on the grill. Roast the entire cauliflower heat and smother it in a tahini-based sauce. Alternatively, use cauliflower rice as a grain replacement. A great way to incorporate new vegetables like snap peas, green beans, or bok choy is by making a vegetable stir-fry. You can also eat vegetables that you normally cook in their raw form and vice versa.
Rethink Your Desserts
It’s very easy to incorporate different fruits and herbs into your dessert recipes. Frozen grapes make a great sweet treat to end the day, but they are also an excellent snack on a hot day. You can freeze different fruits overnight and blend them into a sorbet, using bananas for optimal creamy texture. Don’t like desserts? Make carrots and hummus or bell peppers and guacamole for healthy snacks. You can also snack on apple slices and almond butter!
Eat A Rainbow-Inspired Dish
Some dishes naturally have a diverse ingredient list, a melting pot of vegetables if you will. Stews, soups, stir-fries, Buddha bowls, smoothies, and salads are excellent vehicles for colorful ingredients. The possibilities are endless and there are so many recipes on the Internet that focus on the model of eating.