Why Is Eating The Rainbow So Important?

Jun 8, 2022 | Food

Whether you have or haven’t heard the phrase ‘Eat the Rainbow’ before, you might be wondering what it means and why it’s so important. 

Essentially, eating the rainbow means including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your meals, of which make up the colour of the rainbow!

But there’s actually more behind the different colours than just looking like a rainbow.

Different coloured fruit and veg are linked to particular nutrients and health benefits.

Blue & Purple

Any fruit and/or veg with a purple or blue pigment (known as anthocyanin) are considered to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It can protect cells from damage and help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, neurological diseases, cancer, stroke and heart disease.

 

Red

Tomatoes, capsicum, chillies, strawberries, and any other red fruit or veg you see are that colour because of a pigment called lycopene. An antioxidant, lycopene can help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. It can also assist in reducing sun-related skin damage. 

 

Orange & Yellow

Carotenoids make your favourite orange and yellow fruit and veg their vibrant hue. One commonly known carotenoid is Betacarotene which is found in carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Once it’s entered the body, it converts to vitamin A which helps maintain healthy eyes – hence that old wives tale you might’ve heard about carrots helping you see in the dark!

Carotenoids have also been found to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

 

Green

Like their orange and yellow friends, green fruit and veg contain carotenoids, as well as indoles and saponins – all of which have cancer-fighting properties. 

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, rocket and cabbage are also rich in folate, which helps promote healthy cell growth and function. This is particularly important during early pregnancy.

 

Brown & White 

This team of fruit and vegetables contain plant-specific compounds, such as allicin, which has antiviral and antibacterial benefits. You can find this in garlic and onions, perfect to pack into your winter meals! 

Potassium is also found in members of this group, bananas and potatoes specifically, which can help in reducing blood pressure, maintaining heart health, protecting against osteoporosis and preventing water retention. 

 Our team of nutritionists and dietitians can help you add more of the rainbow to your diet to ensure your nutrient needs are being met. Learn more about our meal plans and coaching here.