We’ve all heard the phrase “Eat the Rainbow.” If you are like me the first thing that comes to mind is the candy commercial.
In all reality though when doctors, nutritionists, health experts, vegans, and even foodies use this phrase their really just saying eat a balanced diet. They want you to eat something of every color in the produce isle for the grocery store.
On the surface this just seems like a good idea but there really is something more to it. This catchphrase actually veils some real science. Not only is all that color pleasing to see its good for you.
To understand why we should look at what gives the food its color. Simply put, it is its chemical make up that gives its color. The unique mix of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, whatever current buzz word you would like to insert, etc.
Intuitively we knew that though. What we many not have appreciated though is that as a result a green bell pepper vs a red one will have a different mix of vitamins. As a result there is real value to putting red, green, even yellow and orange bell peppers in your fajitas.
The nutrition chart included in this post comes to us from Chasing Delicious where they offer prints of it. (I don’t get anything our of it. I just like the chart) As you can see it shows the dominate vitamins and minerals present in each of the major produce color groupings. However, as valuable as that advice it is still an oversimplification. That is because even within a single food color group there is a wide variety of unique flavors and textures that additionally represents unique nutritional value.
In the end our take away should be to put as much variety as possible on your plate. Do “Eat the Rainbow” but don’t let it be the same food for each color group every time. There is more than broccoli in the green group, or carrots in the orange group.
Doing this will go a long way to covering all the bases when it comes to our living healthy.