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Eating a rainbow

This was our delicious vege box for the week from the local organic farm - yum! So fresh and colourful, even at this time of year when winter veges are finishing and summer ones are still a couple of months away

If you've heard the phrase 'eat the rainbow' but wondered what it means, here's a bit more info

'eating the rainbow' is basically a catch phrase to introduce the idea of eating as big a variety of different colored fruit and veges as possible

Different colors contain different phyto nutrients - the compounds unique to plants that are responsible for many of their the health benefits associated with eating plants It's slightly oversimplified as plants contain multiple other nutrients as well, but it's a great reminder The bigger diversity you eat, the more benefits you get!

Here's a bit of a summary of what each colour does..

  • Red : lycopenes - antioxidant, highly anti-inflammatory (tomatoes are the highest on the anti-inflammatory index of foods), helps reduce risk of cancer (esp prostate) and can help protect the skin from sun damage

  • Yellow/orange : caretenoids - antioxidant, anti inflammatory, supports eye health, helps risk of heart disease and cancers (these veges are the main ones that triggered the interest in vit a and e for cancer prevention)

  • Green : sulforaphanes, chlorophyll, caretenoids - antioxidant, anti inflammatory, one of the most powerful colours for cancer risk reduction, protects the brain from age related damage

  • Blue and purple : anthocyanins - antioxidant, anti inflammatory, helps brain function, helps reduce risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and neurological diseases

  • Dark red : betalains - anti inflammatory, anti oxidant, high in nitrates which convert to nitrous oxide when eaten, which reduces blood pressure and improves oxygen delivery to tissues, may improve athletic performance, helps prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancers

  • White and brown : flavonols, flavones, allicin - anti inflammatory, anti oxidant, prebiotic, helps reduce risk of heart disease, bowel cancer, and other cancers

Try eat a rainbow over the week, aiming for 30 different plant foods (whole grains and legumes are included) - your body will thank you for it!

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