See how easy it is to infuse your diet with a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables each day with these helpful tips and recipes to eat the rainbow.
Please Note: Always consult your doctor and/or medical personnel before embarking on any health or fitness program. Please review this Disclaimer Page for further definition on this topic.
It’s not surprising that more than 60 percent of folks here in the U.S. are considered obese and don’t eat a healthy diet. Which is probably why millions are at risk for everything from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more.
Sure we’ve all heard from a variety of sources that’s it’s necessary to change our unhealthy eating habits in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
But what may not be clear, is how.
Surprisingly, we can learn a lot from the rainbow and it’s not just pretty colors. In fact, each color of the rainbow offers it’s own benefits, especially when it comes down to eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.
What is “Eating the Rainbow”?
If you’ve never ever eaten a rainbow, it’s as simple as R-O-Y-G-B-I-V.
Each color of the fruits and vegetables you find at your grocery store serves a purpose and together these bright beacons of nutrition are a powerhouse to help strengthen your immune system, keep your heart healthy and build strong bones and teeth.
Benefits to Why You Should Eat the Colors of the Rainbow
Nutritionists will tell you that each of your meals should be comprised of colorful vegetables–the more the better.
This ensures that you receive all of the nutrition, vitamins and iron that you need to sustain your body and activities throughout the day.
And, doing so also affords you of the following benefits, too:
- lowers your risk for some cancers
- reduces high blood pressure
- can improve your memory
- helps to lose and/or manage your weight
RELATED: How to Live Heart Healthy All Year
Eat the Rainbow Daily – Rush University Medical Center (Video)
So you see by eating a little bit from each of the colors of the rainbow daily, you will not only feel better but you will also be locking in great habits for life-long health.
RELATED: Eat the Rainbow for Good Heart Health (PDF)
7 Ways to Eat the Rainbow
If this is the first time you’ve heard about the concept of eating the rainbow, you might not know where to start.
Here is a breakdown of the seven colors of fruits and vegetables, along with respective delicious recipes.
So what are you waiting for? Time to eat the rainbow!
1. Red Fruits and Vegetables
The red color offers lycopene which helps protects our skin from sun damage and also helps our heart.
This color includes: tomatoes, apples, red grapefruit, red onions, pomegranates, guava, watermelon, red kidney beans, tomatoes, and cranberries.
Try these red-inspired recipes:
- Easy Fried Apples
- 10-Minute Homemade Apple Sauce
- Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie
- Fresh Cranberry Sauce
- Tomato Onion Pasta Sauce
2. Orange Fruits and Vegetables
The orange color is associated with carotenes, vitamin C and have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
This color includes: apricots, cantaloupe, yams, mangoes, orange peppers, peaches, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tangerines, and butternut squash.
Try these orange-inspired recipes:
- Apple and Sweet Potato Gratin
- Pumpkin Soup
- Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
- Rustic Pear Galette withApricot Glaze
- Mango Salsa
3. Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
Yellow fruits and vegetables also are high in carotenoids. They help fight lung cancer, arthritis and joint problems.
This color includes: yellow peppers, pineapple, yellow tomatoes, bananas, corn, spaghetti squash, summer squash, and yellow wax beans.
Try these yellow-inspired recipes:
- Cheesy Tomato Onion Tart
- Wax Beans with Mint Dressing
- Pineapple Apple Upside Down Cake
- Broccoli Slaw with Mandarine and Pineapple
- Healthy Baked Lemon Chicken
- Flemings Creamed Corn
- State Fair Lemonade Recipe
4. Green Fruits and Vegetables
Just as you would think, “green” foods are super foods in that they supply antioxidants, promote good vision and keep your bones, muscles and brain working well.
This color includes: green grapes, asparagus, cucumber, celery, edamame, green beans, green peppers, zucchini, kiwi, peas, okra, artichoke, lettuces, spinach and asparagus.
Try these green-inspired recipes:
- Cheesy Artichoke Dip
- Artichoke Hearts with Braised Sausage Pasta
- Bacon-Crescent Asparagus Spirals
- Cream of Celery Soup
- Green Apple Sangria
- Easy Creamed Peas
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas and Pistachios
5. Blue Fruits and Vegetables
Blue, Indigo and Violet foods contain flavonoids and antioxidants which are great for the heart and brain and especially have been studied extensively and may even help with improving short term memory.
This color includes: blueberries, figs and plums.
Try these blue-inspired recipes:
6. Indigo Fruits and Vegetables
Offers antioxidants to promote healthy lungs, brain, nasal, pituitary glands and respiratory system.
This color includes: eggplants, raisins, prunes, blackberries, dried dates, and plums.
Try these indigo-inspired recipes:
7. Violet Fruits and Vegetables
Provides phyto-chemicals for healthy hypothalamus, cortex and brain function.
This color includes: lavender, eggplant, purple cabbage, rhubarb and ornamental kale.
Try these violet-inspired recipes:
- Winter Vegetable Medley
- Potato Kale and Sausage Soup (Zuppa Toscana)
- Rhubarb Compote
- Wisconsin Rhubarb Pie
White Fruits and Vegetables
One additional color that should also be included into your meals are those that are “white.”
This color includes: garlic, jicama, turnips, white beans (cannellini), cauliflower, mushrooms, onions and potatoes.
Try these white-inspired recipes:
Black Fruits and Vegetables
Healthy addition for digestive, kidney and bladder.
This color includes, black beans, black sesame seeds, and wild rice.
Try these black-inspired recipes:
So as you can see, to eat the rainbow isn’t difficult at all, especially if you know how.
Eat a Rainbow Infographic
To remind you of the importance of including a wide variety of colors fruits and vegetables in your meals each day, be sure to PIN this handy EAT A RAINBOW Infographic.