Our lifestyle in this fast-paced era leads to leading a nutrient-deficient diet. We rely on restaurants and fast food to a large extent. At times, our intake of caffeine and sugars is exceedingly high. It is during such times, that we need to review our eating habits, introduce healthy changes and do away with unhealthy foods.
The ‘Rainbow Diet’ is a nutrient-dense diet that demands us to include fruits and vegetables of all colours. This colourful diet helps build a stronger immune system, helps your body fight existing diseases, and ensures optimum intake of minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Let’s dive into what constitutes the Rainbow Diet and what are the benefits of each of these foods.
Red and Pink
Red fruits and vegetables just like its colour helps with healthy heart, healthy blood vessels and healthy skin. It contains powerful nutrients like phytochemicals that are known for their cancer-fighting effects like prostate cancer in men and Alzheimer’s disease. Red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, apples, cranberries, cherries, red onions, radish, grapefruit, pomegranate, beetroots are great sources of phytochemicals, folate, fibre and Vitamin C. These are also known to help with vision and good eye health.
Blue and Purple
Blue and purple foods get their rich and deep colour from anthocyanin and resveratrol that have numerous health benefits. These foods have rich disease-preventing properties as well as anti-ageing and memory-boosting properties. Blue and purple foods just like their colour keep heart vessels strong, boosts memory and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s in the longer run. Brinjal or eggplant, blackcurrants, prunes, grapes, berries, and plums are just a few easily available options.
The chlorophyll that is responsible for giving plants their green colour is rich in anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants are responsible for body detox, boosting immunity and restores energy levels. Broccoli, spinach, beans, cabbage, zucchini, kiwi, lettuce, and herbs like kale, parsley, celery are all packed with nutrients.
White and Brown
White and brown foods may look very boring if compared to what we have already talked about. Well, they aren’t even a part of the rainbow but they have a load of health benefits. White foods contain allicin that keeps cholesterol and blood pressure levels under check. Potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic, white onions, bananas, all contain phytonutrients.
Orange and Yellow
Yellow foods contain bromelain and papain that help with digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation. While, orange foods potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, are good for eyes, skin, heart and bones. Sunny coloured foods are high in fibre and vitamins. They help protect the skin against the sun, improve immunity, and reduces the risk associated with heart-related diseases. A small tip that will go a long way – Opt for whole foods instead of juices as it can cause a spike in blood sugar.
A great start to adapting to the rainbow diet is to begin by introducing fruits and vegetables of all colours to each meal. Create a colour chart classifying foods based on their colour and their benefits to make your diet more exciting. The Rainbow Diet is designed to be a holistic wellness diet. It allows you to try out explore a variety of local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, trying out different combination of your own salads daily and much more. Give yourself a week or two and you will begin enjoying this simple and sustainable method within no time!
About the author: Dr Rashmi Rai is an Integrated Lifestyle Medicine Expert, BHRT Specialist and Regenerative Medicine Specialist.
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