Eat The Rainbow!
You may have heard the phrase “eat the rainbow” before, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, it’s a way to help you eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. If you’ve found yourself in a cooking rut lately, or reaching for the same things over-and-over again, then this concept could really help you mix thing s up and try new and exciting produce! Romanesco, anyone? Eating the rainbow is also an easy way to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals your body needs to function at its peak. Not only will your palate be happy, but adding variety to your plate can help improve everything from your immune system, to your mood.
Eating a colorful, seasonal diet can help keep you healthy year-round—the deeper the colors, the better!
Eating the rainbow is an easy way to ensure that you’re eating all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. The benefits of each color range from protecting against cancer, to reducing the risk of heart disease, to boosting immunity. From berries to beets, there is produce in each color group for every growing season, too, so mix things up when you Customize Your Box! For example:
- Red produce, like red bell peppers and strawberries, is high in vitamin C, which supports immune system health and provides strong antioxidant benefits, and lycopene which can help prevent certain cancers.
- Orange fruits, like citrus, are also high in vitamin C. Orange vegetables, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin E and vitamin K. They also contain folate and beta-carotene—both nutrients that have been shown to protect against certain cancers.
- Yellow produce is also packed with beta-carotene as well as lutein and zeaxanthin (important for eye health). some examples include mangoes or corn on the cob. Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure.
- Green fresh organic herbs and veggies, like spinach, collard greens, kale and broccoli, are a good source of vitamin K which helps make various proteins that are needed for blood clotting and building healthy bones. They’re also rich in iron, a mineral that is essential for transporting oxygen to the cells throughout our bodies.
- Blue or purple produce, like blueberries or purple cabbage, contain high levels of anthocyanins, the pigments that give them their deep hues. Anthocyanins are rich in antioxidants and are thought to be anti-inflammatory immune-boosters. Purple grapes are rich in resveratrol—an antioxidant linked with a reduced risk for heart disease—and vitamin C.
Plan your meals around the seasonal color wheel
As you plan healthy meals, it can be easy to think about the things you should remove from your plate. After all, cutting down on processed foods and refined sugars, or reducing portion sizes is a relatively straightforward goal to achieve. But what about adding more things to your plate? You’ve seen examples here of how colorful fruits and vegetables can benefit your health and well-being, but which ones should you prioritize? The truth is, it doesn’t really matter which ones you choose, as long as you make it your goal to add colorful variety to your plate! If you take a look back at the lists of nutrients included in these different-hued groups, it’s clear that their benefits aren’t confined only to one group of fruits or vegetables. That means as long as you’re eating fresh produce every day—and preferably plenty of each color—you’ll be reaping the benefits of eating a seasonal, colorful diet.
Try creating your own rainbow plate by including one or two items from each color group at mealtime. This will ensure that you not only get the specific advantages listed above, but you’ll also benefit from an optimal balance of vitamins and minerals for overall good health.
Here are some simply delicious and nutritious seasonal recipes to try:
Add a Rainbow of Seasonal Produce to Your Next Delivery:
Full Circle members – head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 6 pm on your cutoff date. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button “Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products” to add farm products to your delivery.
Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.