Eating The Rainbow

Eating The  Rainbow

By Priya Tew – Dietitian for the TLRF

“Variety’s the very spice of life. That gives it all its flavour” William Cowper (1731-1800).

This British poet wasn’t talking about fruit and vegetables but he certainly summed it up well. If all our food was one colour think how boring mealtimes would be. We don’t just eat with our tastebuds but our other 4 sense play a large role too, so food needs to look appealing for us to want to eat it. Colourful fruit and vegetable can help bring a meal to life.

Their rich colour is usually a sign they are ripe and ready to eat. It’s the phytochemicals in them that give them their colour. Phytochemicals or flavonoids are powerful nutrients that fight disease, there are literally thousands of them. Most act as antioxidants which neutralise free radicals, preventing them doing damage to the cells of the body. Free radicals damage can result in diseases such as cancer and contribute to ageing. Flavanoids can also help prevent excessive inflammation in the body and boost the function of vitamin C, making it more effective.

Each colour of the rainbow has different nutrients associated with it. So by eating the rainbow your body will get a range of nutrients and so a range of health benefits. We all know green vegetables are good for us, but if you only ate your greens you would be missing out on other key micronutrients.

Eating The Rainbow Chart

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*More research is needed to fully validate this.