Very simply, the rainbow diet includes fruit and vegetables in a variety of colors to get the most benefit from food.
Following this rule of thumb will make your meals more aesthetically pleasing and is the foundation for an anti-oxidant rich diet that protects cells from oxidative stress and reduces free radicals in the body.
White plant pigments indicate the presence of anthoxanthins which contain allicin. Resarch on this group shows a reduction in cholesterol and blood pressure. Examples from this group are garlic, onions, daikon, bananas, mushrooms, cauliflower, and ginger.
Yellow & orange plant pigments indicate the presence of carotenoids which are prevent cancerous cells from forming, boost the immune system, help prevent heart disease, and prevent the eye disease of macular degeneration. Examples from this group are summer and winter squash, sweet potatoes, peaches, nectarines, corn, lemons, and carrots.
Red plant pigments indicate the presence of lycopene and anthocyanin- sounds a little scary but these actually benefit vision, fight free radical cells that give rise to cancer, and prevent oxidative stress at the cellular level. Examples from this group are cherries, beets, tomatoes, watermelon, and red cabbage.
Purple & blue indicate the presence of anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties which have an impact on cell damage, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Examples from this group are blueberries, blackberries, red or purple grapes, eggplant, figs, and plums.
Green plant pigments indicate the presence of lutein and chlorophyll for improved blood cell production and repair and also for eye health. Examples from this group are broccoli, green beans, avocados, spinach, kale, honeydew, and green grapes.
Eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants is far from boring and gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing the right thing. In our experience, the more you eat well the less you’ll actually like the junk. It takes awhile to adjust to new habits, so give yourself time to try out different fruit and vegetables and see what works for you.
Some people extend the rainbow diet to include legumes, beans, and rice, and it’s true that expanding your repertoire in this area will provide a greater variety of nutrients because the mineral content in soil differs widely by location.
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