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Eat A Rainbow

heart fruitMy grandma use to say to “Eat a rainbow”. Very simple nutritional advice actually.

To eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables will give you a great start to a healthy eating plan simply and effectively.

Today I wanted to run through some of the nutritional properties of each colour of the rainbow so we can put some science behind my grandmother’s advice.

Green fruits and vegetables

  • Green fruits and vegetables are high in two compounds lutein and indoles. They are researched as being great for your eye health and vision and protecting against certain cancers, respectively.
  • The best sources for lutein and indoles are from peas, kiwifruit and green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels  sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.

Red and Pink fruits and vegetables.

  • These bright babies are full of lycopene and anthocyanins.
  • The potential benefits of lycopene are that is can lower the risks of some cancers and is linked beneficially to your heart health.
  • Anthocyanins are also linked to the reduction in certain cancer risk and heart health but also in healthy ageing properties and improving our memory.
  • What foods are great sources of these nutritional superpowers: tomatoes, watermelons, red apples, beetroot, raspberries, strawberries and even red cabbage.

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.

  • Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are high in beta carotene (think vitamin A) and also bioflavonoids.
  • Beta carotene has long been linked with eyesight but is also linked to the reduction in cancer and heart disease. It is also beneficial to our immune system and the best point…can slow the ageing process.
  • Bioflavonoids help strengthen our bones, can heal wounds, and keeps our skin healthy and revitalised.

Both of these nutritional compounds are found in sweet potato, pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, peaches, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, pears, and yellow capsicum.

Purple fruits and vegetables

  • Fruits and vegetables which are purple in colour are often high in anthocyanins (like red fruits and veggies) and phenolics.
  • Both nutritional compounds are linked to improved memory function, healthy ageing and decreasing the risk of certain cancers.
  • The foods which contain high amounts of anthocyanins and phenolics are blueberries, blackberries, black currants, purple grapes, eggplants, plums and prunes.

So as my grandmother use to say, “Eat a rainbow of foods”. And if you do, you will be easily covering  a range of different nutritional compounds which are beneficial for a spectrum of healthy outcomes including eyesight, brain health, memory, reduction in certain cancers, heart health and even reducing the effects of ageing. Do you need any more convincing to eat well?

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mandy-dos-santos
written by:

Amanda Dos Santos

Mandy is an experienced Nutritionist, food scientist and writer with over 10 years experience in the Heath industry. She has been part of the Healthy Mummy team of experts since 2012, writing informative and current blog posts and contributing to our recipe books. She has played an integral part in creating the recipes on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges since they first started in July 2014.Mandy is a mum of three and loves working for The Healthy Mummy, ”Especially on the challenges as I can create recipes which empower women to create nourishing food for themselves and their families’."