7 Ways to Eat a Rainbow ...


7 Ways to Eat a Rainbow ...
7 Ways to Eat a Rainbow ...

Eat a rainbow? I know you are asking “is she mad?” Bear with; there is a point to my madness. I know it can be boring to constantly be told to eat your veggies and how good they are for you. I also know that you probably hear or read that you should mix up your veggies to eat a less boring diet – but that’s not very inspiring is it. You want veggies to be fun, but you don’t want eating them or planning to include them in your meals to be hard work – right? So how about this for an idea – eat a rainbow! Conveniently, there are seven colors of the rainbow and there are 7 days of the week. Despite the children’s song telling us the colors of the rainbow are red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue, the true colors of the rainbow are actually red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. So, why not choose your vegetables to match one color, picking a different color for each day of the week. Don't forget to swap them round each week too. You don't want a diet of Red Mondays and Blue Fridays. And to make sure that if you’re going to eat a rainbow and it really works the best for you and you get all those delicious an special nutrients you need, let’s throw some fruits in there too, shall we?

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Red Red is my favorite color so I would always kick off my plan to eat a rainbow on day one with red vegetables and red fruit. Red is an awesome color in nature. Red and pink fruits contain lots of phytochemicals to help your body fight disease and promote good health. One of the most important ones that I’m sure you’ve heard of is lycopene, which the National Institute of Cancer recommends should be eaten every day. It’s so easy to get your fix of red too. Tomatoes are one of the best sources and the most flexible of any foodstuffs. Eat tomatoes with your salad, in your sandwiches and even in your marinara sauce. Then of course you can try any of these on your “red day”:- red bell peppers, red chili peppers, red beets, strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, watermelon, red apples, cherries, cranberries, radicchio, rhubarb, and pomegranates. And don’t forget red potatoes – eat them with the skin on and get a great source of fiber and Vitamin C.



Orange Okay, let’s get the obvious out the way first. Yes, oranges are orange food and are fabulous for you. Squeeze it and drink it, or peel it and munch it – either way get a terrific hit of Vitamin C. But what other foods can you eat on “orange day”? I have to put carrots at the top of the list. Carrots are a major source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene not only gives orange food their color, but it is a powerful antioxidant good for eye health, can protect skin from sun damage and also delay cognitive aging. The other key nutrient you get from orange foods is Vitamin A which is crucial for the health of immunity system. So, you know to put oranges and carrots in your cart for orange day but pick up any of these too:- orange bell peppers, apricots, peaches, mangoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squashes, and papaya..



Yellow The obvious food that comes to mind when it comes to “yellow day” is bananas. The humble banana is a fabulous source of potassium and provides an instant energy boost, particularly after a workout, but there are other yellow foods to which you can turn to change up your diet. The list includes yellow melons, grapefruit, star fruit, yellow bell peppers, yellow plums, mango, pear, yellow colored squash, quince, pineapple, sweetcorn and of course, lemons. A pile of juicy sweetcorn adds such a pop of color to any plate, and if you’re drinking your regular quota of water, why not stick a couple of slices of lemon in some of your glasses? Bright colors are a real mood booster, so you could say that yellow foods are sunshine foods. Yellow foods are also packed with antioxidants (bioflavonoids and carotenoids) and Vitamin C. When you eat a rainbow, yellow foods will help you maintain healthy skin, strong teeth and bones, good digestion and a healthy immune system.



Green Well where do I even begin with “green day”? You really should be eating leafy greens every day because they are nutritional powerhouses, but I know for some of you that idea really sucks. (Just in case you want to know why you should eat more check out Heather’s post here beauty.allwomenstalk.com and what Jessica has to say here food.allwomenstalk.com). Despair ye not however! There are tons and tons of green foods that will provide you awesome amounts of good things. From the avocado to green tea, there’s bound to be green foods you love. Here’s just a few – fava beans, French beans, edamame beans, spinach, limes, squash, cabbage, peas, Brussel sprouts, pears, pak choy, cucumber, asparagus, grapes, kiwi fruit, prickly pear, kale, green chili, okra – and the list goes on. As green fruit and veggies are so diverse in range, so are their nutritional benefits. Kiwis will give you a fiber hit, while asparagus while provide a nice shot of inulin, a prebiotic that promotes digestive health. The best way to include green foods in your meal is decide which nutrients you need to balance the meal, or your diet for the day. There’s plenty on online resources to check the nutritional value of any food.



Blue This is going to harder than your green day, but it can be done. There are very few naturally blue foods, just like as a whole, blue flora is rare compared to the multitude of other colors. You may think you can eat a rainbow and achieve your “blue day” simply with a handful of blueberries added to your porridge or Greek yogurt. Not so, really. They may be called blue berries, but you must have noticed how dark they are, and how, even though they have a distinct blue tinge, they are in fact closer to black, so let’s save blueberries for indigo day. So what does that leave us with? Well, not too much to be honest. There is a strain of sweet corn that is naturally blue which although is totally edible, is more often ground down into flour. If you don’t mind eating blue food, blue corn is actually more nutritious than regular corn. Then there’s the indigo ink cap which is an edible fungi but not common outside of China. One thing though, is the bilberry. They are closely related to the blueberry but they are actually much more blue in color. You might also want to try the blue salad potato. They are a shade of blue on the outside but purple-tinged on the inside. On blue day you will need to make sure you eat other colors too, to get your full quota of nutrients.



Indigo So, I’ve already said that the staple of “indigo day” should be blueberries. Recognized as one of nature’s superfoods, blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. The list of nutrients in blueberries includes anthocyanin, vitamins A, B, C, and E, copper, iron, zinc and selenium. But, a handful of blueberries isn’t going to satisfy your goal to eat a rainbow, so we need to look at some other indigo foods. Remember we are looking for dark blackish/ bluish/purplish foods. This opens us to eggplant (with skin on), black olives, purple carrots, black garlic, blackcurrants, blackberries, purple grapes, elderberries, ripe fresh figs, black cherries, black soy beans and purple plums. And, don’t forget, there’s lots of black mushrooms too, including the expensive truffle. Again, because the range of indigo foods is so diverse, the nutritional benefits will vary greatly, but there’s not a dud among them. Roast some eggplant, bake some figs to eat with honey and Greek yogurt or make your own black olive tapenade to spread on crackers.



Violet You might imagine that there aren’t going to be any violet foods but with a bit of creativity you can still have a “violet day” – especially if we play on that violet is in fact a shade of purple. There are in fact very few foods that could be described as truly violet, although certain breeds of cauliflower, dwarf eggplant, and kohl rabi are faint enough purples to be classed as violet. One interesting choice would be dulse. Dulse is a seaweed with a mild, spicy and salty flavor and is packed with nutrients and important vitamins. A serving will give you a good dose of protein, vitamins B6, B12, A and C, iron, potassium, iodine, calcium and fluoride. And don’t be concerned about sodium content being too high. Compared to other seaweeds it has a low sodium content.

If you struggle to eat the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables you should try my plan to eat a rainbow. It’s not a diet, it’s no scientific method. It’s merely my way of getting more fresh fruit and veggies into our diets so we can benefit from the fabulous nutrition they provide. Are you going to eat a rainbow?

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