The 5+ a day campaign has a simple and easily digested message: you and your family should enjoy at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day. The ideal daily target being at least two serves of fruit and at least three serves of vegetables. What about you, do you eat a rainbow?
Another important and related food health message that is also easy to incorporate into our lifestyles is that we should “eat a rainbow”. The goal of eating a rainbow is quite easy to put into practice. Essentially we should select a variety of fruit and vegetables from across different food colour groupings.
In the past, much of the goodness of fresh fruit and vegetables has been attributed to the fibre, vitamin and minerals they contain. These are important, but it is now also thought that it is the phytochemicals fruit and veg contain that pack the real punch. Phytochemicals create the bright colours in fruit and vegetables. The greater range of colours you eat, the greater range of phytochemicals you will benefit from.
So how do you eat a rainbow?
The following is a very basic guide on colour groupings for fruit and vegetables so you can see how you might incorporate a rainbow into your diet.
- RED: Strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries, red apples, red onions, red pepper, red skinned potatoe, red cabbage.
- ORANGE/YELLOW: Carrot, golden kumara, pumpkin, melon, swede, yam, sweet corn, squash, oranges, yellow peppers.
- WHITE: cauliflower, banana, pear, garlic, onion, parsnip, potato, ginger, turnip, mushroom.
- GREEN: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, green cabbage, watercress, kiwifruit, celery, lettuce, silver beet, brussel sprouts, aspargus.
- BLUE/PURPLE: blueberries, tamarillos, raisins, eggplant, red cabbage, beetroot, plums, prunes.
Phytochemicals are apparently more effective when they are eaten a raw state… so if you want to take eat a rainbow to the next level, perhaps you could try eating a raw rainbow. If you would like to read more detailed information about rainbow eating, and phytochemicals check out this link.
Munch really likes to write and share information on fruits and vegetables. We have previously written loads of posts on the health benefits of individual fruits and vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes and oranges. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. You can learn more about preparing and storing fresh vegetables here.