Eating the recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables is beneficial to health, there is no single doubt about that. However, just eating more fruits and vegetables is enough. On the other hand, the eating by colour approach is one of the best ways to go. This is because it allows you to make use of phytonutrients in different coloured foods. This approach is described as eating the rainbow. And eating the rainbow has more health benefits than only eating more fruits and vegetables!
To be frank, you can eat more mangoes and rape throughout the year and we can still say you ate more fruits and vegetables. But health-wise, what did you get or achieve with that? This is the reason why you must eat the rainbow or eat by colour!
But, how do you eat a rainbow?
I asked myself the same question too! I mean the rainbow is up there in the sky right. And it is not physical so there is no way you can get up there and munch it up!
Eating the rainbow is a strategy that describes how you can eat foods of different colours for optimum health. We have many colours in a rainbow, and we also have foods of many different colours. So, instead of munching down green coloured vegetables all the time. You must vary the diet, eat green, yellow, white, purple fruits and vegetables etc. When you look at your plate and see many colours, you are now eating the rainbow! One example is when you cook mixed vegetables. This is one example of a ready-made rainbow meal you can eat.
So, to cut it shot just eating fruits and vegetables is not enough for optimum health. But, eating by colour or eating the rainbow can provide you with even better health benefits. So, the best thing to do is to improve the variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Here are the best reasons for eating the rainbow:
1. Helps in fighting pollutant toxicity
In our daily lives, we use a lot of chemicals most of which are toxic to our bodies. We also come in contact with several toxic pollutants that negatively affect our health. These harmful compounds include agricultural chemicals, mining chemicals, industrial exhaust fumes and environmental pollutants among others. It’s hard for an individual to live through a day without coming in contact with one of these toxic pollutants. This is because they are everywhere; in our energy sources, emissions from appliances, pharmaceuticals and exhaust fumes. Some of them even exist as residues in our food! Especially herbicides, insecticides and pesticides!
As a result of exposure to these chemicals, our health is negatively affected. Our body tissues and organs are damaged in time. This damage leads to oxidative stress and inflammation. And these are the backbone root causes of most chronic diseases. Examples of such chronic diseases include cancers, heart and respiratory problems.
Solve the problem by eating the rainbow
This is where eating the rainbow comes in. Fruits and vegetables help reduce the damage done by these foods. Different coloured fruits and vegetables form a rainbow diet. These foods are rich in polyphenols and other phytonutrients. Each different coloured food contains different phytonutrients.
These phytonutrients are powerful compounds. And they help in minimising and fighting the damage posed by toxic pollutants. They help prevent and minimise toxicity, inflammation. And also the oxidative stress caused by toxic pollutants. Eating the rainbow helps in buffering your body against the damage done by toxic pollutants. In other words, it helps protect you from diseases associated with toxic pollutants and compounds. This is because each different coloured food has a different phytonutrient. And each phytonutrient increases the chance of you fighting this toxicity.
2. A boost for your psychological well being
Many studies show that a regular intake of fruits and vegetables has psychological benefits. Eating a wide variety of different coloured vegetables and fruits is good for your psychological health. Eating the rainbow has a favourable impact on your health and well being.
Takingg a wide variety of different coloured plant-based foods can enhance your:
- Life satisfaction
- Well being
The psychological effects of eating the rainbow are equal to those associated with joyous situations in life. For example, they are equal to the joys of getting employment after a long time of unemployment.
Eating the rainbow also helps reduce your psychological distress. A rainbow diet can help you flourish in life.
So, tell me! What stops you from eating as many different coloured vegetables as you can?
3. Eating the rainbow boosts your phytochemical index
A phytochemical index is the percentage of dietary calories derived from foods rich in phytochemicals. These phytochemicals are found in coloured fruits, vegetables and cereals.
So, to boost your phytochemical index, your phytochemical intake must improve. And this is only possible through eating the rainbow. Therefore you must eat a selection of different coloured plant-derived foods. These include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, seeds, wine, beer, cider and foods derivatives from these.
So, why is boosting your phytochemical index important?
Well, it’s very simple!
A higher phytochemical index is associated with many health benefits. A higher index has favourable effects on the prevention of weight and fat gain. It is believed that it plays a part in reducing adiposity (fat deposition) in adults. Its also associated with improved lipids and lowering hypertension and breast cancer risks.
So, eat many fruits and vegetables of different colours to boost your optimum health. And also to reduce the risks of disease.
4. Each colour in your diet signifies a different health benefit
Eating by colour or eating the rainbow means that your diet is rich in different coloured foods. And each colour in the diet represents a different phytonutrient. Also, many colours in your diet mean that there are many phytonutrients. And more phytonutrients provide you with more health benefits!
This is not about the quantities of the foods you eat. It is about the quality of the colour on your plate. For example, a plate full of orange coloured food may have fewer benefits than a half plate of orange, yellow, white and purple coloured food.
So, eating the rainbow is the best way to improve your health. If you eat organic coloured foods, the benefits are higher. Why? Because organic foods have lower chemical residues than conventional foods. Therefore, they are more nutritious and have a lower residue induced toxicity.
Examples of coloured foods and their benefits
Red coloured and purple coloured fruits and vegetables are related to lower weight gain. They also lower your gaining of abdominal fat.
Yellow, white and green fruits and vegetables help in improving your body lipid parameters.
White fruits and vegetables can help you in reducing risks of stroke.
About 25 g/ day of deep orange fruits and vegetables lower the risks of coronary heart diseases. Carrots have the best effects.
Also read: Orange fleshed sweet potatoes: What’s so special about them?
Orange sweet potatoes: How to best encourage adoption
Conclusion on eating the rainbow
In conclusion, there are numerous benefits to eating fruits and vegetables. However, having a variety of different coloured vegetables amplifies these health benefits. Associating each colour in your diet with health benefits can help improve your fruit and vegetable intake. Eating by colour is the best way to get more health benefits out of fruits and vegetables!