I remember back when I was running face to face training, that often our lunchtime buffets would consist mostly of one colour - beige. This image immediately came to mind when I first heard about the rainbow diet and how far removed this lunchtime offering was was from an ideal, nourishing lunch.
So why does the colour of our food matter? The rainbow colours represent key nutrients, like vitamins, chemical and minerals which perform essential role in our our bodies. The principle of the rainbow diet is about increasing the range of colour of your food to benefit from this huge arrange of nutrients which these colours contain. It's a easy concept to grasp. It's obvious if you're doing it because of how your plate looks - It's easy to avoid the beige!
Just keeping in mind a rainbow of colour provides a simple motivation to improve the variety of our diet. The rainbow diet is about including at least three different colours on your plate, derived from fruit or vegetables. All the rainbow colours can be found in food and the more effort you make to include all of them during your week's meals, the more variety of nutrients you'll be eating. Ideally this is what we should be aiming for:
8-10 portions of vegetables and fruit per day.
Two thirds vegetables, one third fruit - this takes a bit for more effort
As many different varieties of vegetables and fruit as possible.
1-2 portions of each colour, every day, as different colours provide different health benefits.
By no means exhaustive, here are some rainbow foods for you to start adding to your diet:
RED: Peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, raspberries - help soak up nasty free-radicals and improve heart health.
YELLOW-ORANGE: Peppers, squash, carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, lemons - important for immunity, eye health and joints.
GREEN (endless list here!): kale, spinach, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, kiwi fruit - build immunity, help detoxification and boost energy levels.
BLUE-PURPLE: Aubergine, grapes, red cabbage, blackberries, plums, blueberries, blackcurrants - improve brain function and reduce inflammation.
🌈 So whatever you eat today, look at your plate and ask yourself how you can make it more colourful with the additional of another brightly coloured fruit or vegetable! It's easy and your body will thank you for it.