Eating a rainbow!

Eating a rainbow!

First of all, let’s get this straight that eating a rainbow doesn’t mean filling up on brightly coloured smarties and skittles!!  It is about eating foods of as many different colours as possible, usually in each meal!  Eating a variety of colours means that you will incorporate many different fruits and vegetables into your diet and therefore, fulfil your daily vitamin and mineral requirement as well as fibre and anti-oxidants.  Fruit and vegetables contain different nutrient values that are essential to ward off disease and keep you feeling healthy and energised.

Blue and purple foods

Such as red cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, blueberries, figs, aubergines, grapes, blackcurrants, raisins and plums.  The purple pigment in all of these fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure. The blue and purple group of foods are all high in phytochemicals called anthocyanins which may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Red foods

Such as tomatoes, peppers, radishes, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, apples, rhubarb, pink grapefruit, and watermelon.  This good groups contains lycopene, anthocyanins and vitamin C all of which may help protect against some cancers, keep the heart healthy, improve vision and memory and avoid urinary tract infections.

Green foods

The most abundant food group to choose from includes apples, kiwi fruit, grapes, melon, spinach, cabbage, kale, spring greens, runner beans, peas, courgette, peppers, spring onions, leeks, avocado, lettuce, watercress, cress, cucumber and many many more!  These foods are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.  They also contain chlorophyll and provide good sources of two carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin, plus they contain phytochemicals such as indoles and glucosinolates and nutrients such as beta-carotene, folate, iron and calcium.  Green vegetables help to protect against cancer.

Orange/yellow foods

Foods such as carrots, butternut squash, peppers, pumpkin, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, swede, oranges, satsumas, apricots, mangoes, peaches, papaya, pineapple and nectarines.  These foods are all high in vitamin C and contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.  Great for eyesight, skin, hair, nails, digestive and urinary tracts and can help protect against lung cancer and ease inflammation caused by arthritis.

White/beige foods

Parsnips, potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, bananas (white flesh under the yellow skin!), celeriac, garlic, jerusalem artichoke, onions and turnips.  These foods vary in content but are mostly high in vitamin C, potassium and anthoxanthins – helping with heart and muscle function and may reduce the risk of CVD and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

 

References: bhf.org.uk / betterhealth.vic.gov.au / foodrevolution.org

 



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