IS EATING A RAINBOW LINKED TO IMMUNO-REJUVENATION?

INTRODUCTION

 What can eating a Rainbow of fruits and vegetables do for you? Lead you to your pot of gold – the better health results you crave – of course! That’s right, your body wants and needs a variety of colors, from real food every day.

EATING A RAINBOW

DIFFERENT COLORS = DIFFERENT SUPERPOWERS

Different colors indicate the different superpowers found in plants. 

  • Red foods help promote healthy hearts, and skin, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. 
  • Orange and Yellow foods promote healthy vision and help build and repair healthy skin – both external and internal (digestive & urinary tracts, airways, etc)… 
  • Green foods promote hormone and digestive balance, support detoxification, and healthy vision, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. 
  • Blue and Purple foods promote cognitive, oral, and heart health, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. 
  • White and brown foods promote liver, and gastrointestinal health, and help reduce the risk of certain cancers. 
IS EATING A RAINBOW LINKED TO IMMNO-REJUVENATION: 7 TIPS TO EAT A BETTER RAINBOW

7 TIPS ON EATING A BETTER RAINBOW

  1. Eat whole plant foods. Ideally, your better nutrition plan focuses on whole plant foods – If yours is, you are making better choices already! The natural processes of aging and stress produce “dirt” that needs to be cleaned up so make sure to turn to your daily rainbow for extra support. 
  2. Eat a variety of different colors. If you are getting a variety of colors each day you are giving your body the resources (nutrients) it needs to do all its different tasks, better. If you have a favorite color – don’t worry, most of us do – notice if it changes seasonally and consider ways that you can keep getting that color while adding in the others more often.  If you drink or smoke, or used to, your cells could use some extra nutrient support from the colors found in produce. 
  3. Balance is key. Better nutrition includes better nutrient balance, so make sure you know the difference between non-starchy and starchy vegetables – which like fruit, count as a carb – and which fruits actually count as fats, like avocados.
  4. Eat more veggies than fruits. Are you choosing fruits more often? Your better rainbow should be more vegetables- and by that, I mean non-starchy vegetables – than fruits. Fruits are awesome but aim to keep them to 1-2 servings daily and get the rest of your colors from vegetables, spices, and herbs.  Also, are you choosing dehydrated or dried fruits and vegetables? One reason to eat fruits and vegetables is to get the water, which helps their nutrients get into your cells to be used, better. When dried, fruits and starchy vegetables can also be much higher in sugar per serving, so pay attention to quantity. That said, dried and dehydrated can be a fun and convenient way to choose veggies and fruit more often.
  5. Focus on quantity and quality. Quality is as important as quantity. If you eat certified organic – great! Frozen foods are often cheaper… so if your budget is ruining your rainbow efforts, choose frozen. 
  6. Don’t overcook. How you cook your vegetables can make a difference in the nutrients that are available for your body to absorb. If you boil the heck out of Brussels sprouts, a lot of the nutrients are left behind. All the other choices are better nutrition wins because it means you will get in fruits and vegetables more often. 
  7. Choose good quality supplements. Are you supplementing to get a rainbow? A lot of antioxidants and other plant nutrients depend on other nutrients in the plant to create better results in your body. Alone, they may not deliver better results and can even be harmful. That said, some nutrients are great from better quality supplements and can help fill in gaps in your daily intake. Discuss your better supplement options with your dietitian or physician.

EATING A RAINBOW IS BUDGET FRIENDLY

But eating all those organic fruits and veggies is pricey, right? Nope, eating a rainbow can be good for your bottom line. Try these strategies for a budget-friendly rainbow.

  • If you need assistance, look into government programs designed to help, like WIC and SNAP. 
  • Look for seasonal produce or seconds at the farmer’s market. 
  • Consider planting herbs and vegetables in your yard, a pot, or a community garden. 
  • Pay attention to how you store fruits and vegetables, and if you’re unsure of the best way to extend their life, look it up! 
  • If you’re able to get extra fruits and vegetables, freeze what you aren’t ready to eat or cook extra meals with them to freeze for busier days in the future. 

CONCLUSION

Fruits and veggies don’t just act as our daily clean-up team internally, they also play leadership roles in fighting disease. If you are focusing on disease prevention or regaining your health – adding in a better rainbow of colors is important. Trying to heal? Add all the different colors in and choose organic to give your body more of the plant nutrient power (like antioxidants) that the body needs to do its repair work.

Is eating a rainbow linked to immuno-rejuvenation? Absolutely! Luckily, anyone and everyone can eat a rainbow. If you need more support check out The Rainbow Challenge or for a more personalized plan my 1:1 package may work better for you.

About the author

Susan Taylor, RDN LD is a registered dietitian / nutritionist with 20+ years experience in the nutrition field.  Susan has worked in a variety of clinical settings including hospitals, longterm care, rehab, and private practice. She currently enjoys life in the Charleston, SC area and is always looking for ways to fit in a little more beach time.