EAT-A-RAINBOW: Real Nutrition For Healthy Body Cells!
What does "Eat A Rainbow" mean? It's a simple way of reminding you that a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet will get you the fiber, vitamins and minerals you need.
Plant foods provide a special family of nutrients called Phytonutrients (also referred to as Phytochemicals) that work together with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to promote good health:
- Lycopene- is an antioxidant, a substance that protects against body cell damage.
- Beta-carotene- the human body converts beta carotene into vitamin A (retinol).
- Chlorophyll- a pigment present in all green plants. It has vitamins, antioxidants, and therapeutic properties beneficial to the body.
- Anthocyanins- a class of compounds with antioxidant effects fighting free radicals that cause inflammation in the body.
- Allicin- compound (found in garlic) reduces body inflammation and offers antioxidant benefits.
- Quercetin- plant pigment reduces allergic responses and boosts immunity in the body.
It is important to incorporate a variety of foods from each of these 5-colors into your diet regularly. You don’t have to eat them all every day, but very often is a good idea. And it’s very easy to do! Just cover half your plate—and not just at dinner—with vegetables and/or fruit. A good rule of thumb is to 2½ to 3 cups a day and mix-up the colors all week long:
red-grapefruits; red grapes; strawberries; cherries; watermelons; tomatoes; red peppers; beets.
apricots; cantaloupes; mangoes; peaches; carrots; sweet potatoes; yellow & winter squashes; pumpkins; yellow & orange peppers.
leafy greens like lettuces; kale; spinach; broccoli; Brussels sprouts; cucumber; zucchini; avocados.
BLUE /PURPLE (Anthocyanins)
blackberries; black currants; blueberries; grapes; raisins, plums; red cabbages; eggplant.
WHITE & TAN/BROWN (Allicin & Quercetin)
garlic; leeks; onions; shallots; cauliflower; white potatoes; bananas; brown pears.
Here is a closer view of the educational posters on the table in the photo (above):
- Phytonutrients are chemicals produced by plants that give them disease-fighting abilities. Plants use these chemicals for protection from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. These substances are discovered to be beneficial to human health and help prevent various diseases.
- There are thousands of different kinds of phytochemicals in any one typical fruit or vegetable. Tens of thousands of phytochemicals have been identified, and researchers estimate that there are more they haven’t yet discovered.
- Studies show phytonutrients can: Act as antioxidants; stimulate enzymes that remove toxins and carcinogens from our body; strengthen the immune system; keep hormones balanced; act as antibacterial or antiviral agents; cause cancer cells to die; repair DNA damage caused by smoking and other toxic exposures.
By Judith Garner, Certified Health Coach | Certified Processed-Free America™ Facilitator
Helping people stay healthy inside & out!