We know that it’s important to include more fruit and vegetables in our diets, but it’s very easy to pick one that we like (broccoli for me) and include this time and time again in our meals. But we only start to get the full benefit of a plant-rich diet when we ‘eat the rainbow’.
Why is it important to get a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet?
Our bodies benefit from variety, and the different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables come with different optimizing properties.
Each colour in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals generated by the plant’s evolution to their environment. And each colour indicates an abundance of specific nutrients.
Eating a diversity of colourful foods, therefore, is an easy way to get a complete range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. It also simply keeps your diet interesting when it comes to taste!
Studies have shown that those who eat more fruit and vegetables are generally happier and report better life satisfaction scores.
The gut microbiome plays a very important role in your health by helping control digestion and benefiting your immune system and many other aspects of health. A colourful diet is a diverse one, which is crucial for optimum function of the microbiome.
Providing your body with antioxidants, polyphenols and phytonutrients will boost your recovery from exercise and the stresses of life.
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Lycopene has been linked to health benefits ranging from heart health to protection against sunburns.
Orange and Yellow
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth.
Green fruits and vegetables are rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K — which is essential for blood and bone health. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, have been shown to enhance immune function, while dark leafy greens like kale may improve mood.
Blue and purple
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and resveratrol, and have been studied extensively for their anti-ageing properties. Studies show that the bioactive phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation.