You may often hear the term “eat the rainbow.” I think of this as another way of saying: variety is key.
Variety in your diet is so important. Every single fruit and vegetable has something different to offer. They have different properties and nutrients and minerals. Their varying color means something. As does their varying texture and make-up. Sometimes when I go to the farmer’s market I buy something that I have no idea what it is….then I research recipes and try to enjoy it’s unique properties. It’s especially great to rotate your greens. Dark leafy greens are the highest nutrient per calorie food, it is important to add them in whenever possible.
Eating the rainbow ensures that you’ll get certain vitamins, nutrients, and phytochemicals that help your body optimally function. Here’s a rundown on what the various colors do for you:
RED-contain the antioxidants flavonoids and carotenoids (including lycopene). These antioxidants help destroy free radicals that may lead to a variety of diseases from cancer to blood vessel damage. Both Flavonoids and Lycopene may help with heart health and graceful aging, as well as protection against sunburns and certain types of cancers.
ORANGE-contains beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin A and C. These nutrients support a host of body functions to help eyesight, immune function and healthy skin.
YELLOW-contains carotenoid zeaxanthin, an antioxidant which has been linked to eye health. Yellow produce also contains the carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin, an antioxidant that can be converted to vitamin A (needed for healthy skin and immunity). The powerful vitamin antioxidant Vitamin C is also found in citrus and yellow bell peppers and can help with healthy skin and immunity.
GREEN-Green veggies contain flavonols, beta-carotene, and lutein. These nutrients help brain and heart health, eye health, are also anti-inflammatory, and are packed with enzymes needed for every body function. Green produce also contains protein, and promotes energy and vibrancy.
BLUE, INDIGO, VIOLET-The blues and blacks in berries and veggies are the result of Anthocyanins. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress (they support healthy aging) and cardiovascular disease.
During a Little Green real foods, plant-forward cleanse, we encourage you to eat the rainbow…it is nutrient boosting and detoxifying during a cleanse and EVERY day!