Friday, August 12, 2011

Eating the Rainbow

I did a guest post on Gourmet Runner recently, about eating a variety of fruit and vegetables from all the colors of the rainbow, in order to gain the health benefits and nutrients that the different colors provide.  I think that it is relevant here, as well.

And, don't forget, most fruits and vegetables are considered zero P+ by Weight Watchers, so eat to your heart's content and to your appetite's satisfaction!

I hope you don’t think of nutrition as a Black-or-White issue. Actually it is a whole variety of colors… all the colors of the rainbow! 

Red   Orange-Yellow  Green  Blue-Purple and White

The more different colors we can work into our meal plans, the better off we are, nutritionally. Every color grouping has its own health benefits and the more of them we can take advantage of, the better for us, and the more delicious our menus become.

So here are the colors, some of the fruits and veggies included, and some nutrients and health benefits they offer:


Tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, beets, watermelon, red peppers, cranberries, raspberries, radishes, red cabbage, pink grapefruit, red apples, rhubarb, red grapes

Red foods contain lycopene that helps rid the body of damaging free radicals, protects against prostate cancer, as well as heart and lung disease. The red foods are loaded with antioxidants thought to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots and may also delay the aging of cells in the body.


Mangoes, tangerines, oranges, lemons, squashes, papayas, peaches, apricots, carrots, pineapple, corn, yellow tomatoes, yellow and orange peppers, pears, cantaloupe, nectarines, grapefruit, persimmons, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yellow apples

Orange-yellow foods contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer, and beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A protecting the skin against free-radical damage. Beta-carotene is also good for night vision.


Avocadoes, limes, spinach, kale, lettuce, herbs of all kinds, green apples, green peppers, brussel sprouts, artichokes, broccoli, asparagus, sea vegetables, cucumber, green onions, peas, green beans, zucchini, green grapes, kiwi, honeydew melon, celery, green cabbage

Green foods contain chemicals that help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. Chlorophyll is the component that makes plant green, and is purifying in the body. Many of the green foods also contain calcium and other healthful minerals.


Blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, plums, purple grapes, figs, raisins

Blue-purple foods contain the compound anthocyanins that have been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and increasing heart health.


Bananas, onions, mushrooms, jicama, potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, parsnips, turnips

Although White isn’t a color of the rainbow, it is a mixture of all the colors. White foods contain properties that have anti-tumor qualities, such as allicin in onions as well as other health-improving antioxidants. The white foods, bananas and potatoes, contain potassium as well.

There are lots of fun ways to get a variety of colourful fruits and veggies onto your plate and into your tummy.

Salads, both fruit and vegetable, are the obvious choice, but if you are having trouble with getting in your 5 to 7 servings of freggies every day, you could try drinking mixed fruit or vegetable cocktails, too.

Convenient salad packs such as tri-color coleslaw mixes and broccoli slaw mixes are a great addition to your shopping cart… and you can also purchase pre-washed and prepared fruits such as melons, pineapples, if you are pressed for time. Fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas also make very portable snacks.

Challenge yourself to try a new fruit or a new vegetable every week.

Sometimes my friends and I play a game to see how many colors we can work in on a daily basis. We call it the Rainbow Game, and the one who eats the most different freggies in a day, is the winner.

Or sometimes we will declare a color of the day, and concentrate on eating fruit and vegetables in that particular color. It is is fun to see if we can keep coming up with new ones to try. In the Fall, Orange-Yellow is my favorite.

Here are some Featured Recipes that are particularly colorful:


Fitness Friday Blog Hop


  1. Hi, i'm following from the hop,thank you for visiting me,

    I love this post and love reading about healthy food I'm going to enjoy reading your blog :)

  2. I love thinking about food in terms of colors. It really can simplify it.

    My favorite quick and colorful recipe is Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Relish. Healthy, fast, and colorful.

  3. Great information!! I need to start eating cleaner. Your blog. is very helpful!

  4. I love trying to make my plate colorful. Makes it easier to get in all the vitamins! Lovely post.

  5. Everyone knows that a balanced diet is a key to being healthy and fit. Eat foods that are high in nutrients and bad in undesirable substances and you'll be on your way to better health. However, it can be confusing to know how much of which foods to eat, especially these days when we are inundated with information from all quarters.


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