Eat the rainbow, and no I am not talking about skittles. Research has shown that individuals that eat a vibrant array of fruits and vegetables have lower blood pressure, healthier hearts and stronger immune systems in addition to several other advantages. Each color of the rainbow represents a different vitamin. So next time you are out grocery shopping challenge yourself to fill your cart up with at least one of each color. Get creative, the possibilities are endless and as you’ll see below, so are the health benefits!
Add tomatoes, beets, and watermelon to improve your joint and heart health. Eating a variety of fresh red fruits, such as cranberries encourages a healthy urinary track system.
Many studies have shown that orange vegetables may help to prevent certain caners. So while you are out at the local famers market, don’t forget to include a spectrum of orange in your meal planning. Aside from the obvious option for an orange fruit aka the orange, there are numerous options to choose from, including; pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, papayas, peaches, persimmons, nectarines, cantaloupe, and apricots.
Improve your vision, immunity and overall cardiac health by simply including a little yellow in your life. Spice up the summer with a pineapple and sweet corn salsa, or even try grilling summer squash and bananas on the BBQ. Other great yellow food options are lemons, peppers, starfruit, pears, and acorn squash.
Foods with a deep purple/blue color posses powerful antioxidant properties and help to properly absorb minerals. Eggplant, prunes, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, fig, elderberries purple onion, purple cabbage and cauliflower.
Eat as many greens as possible to help fight free radicals and detoxify your system. Going green can also promote a healthy immune system. Whether you are eating broccoli, zucchini or cucumbers, you can never go wrong when eating the color green. For more ideas try eating brussels sprouts, avocado, kiwi, edamame, basil, seaweed, asparagus, and arugula.
There is no better way to “eat the rainbow” then layering up a bunch of veggies.
Here’s one of my favorites:
Kim’s Rainbow Salad
- Romaine lettuce
- Purple cabbage
- Diced chicken
- Carrots (I usually buy them pre shredded)
- Onions (I like red onions or sweet maui)
- Green peas, snap peas, English peas or Edamame
- Spinach-I like to cut it into thin strips
- Small chunks of pineapple, mandarin oranges, or apple
- Black beans
- Topped with Cilantro or Basil
Instead of dressing I make Avocado cream (also great for tacos, sandwiches, or anything else!!)
Put one avocado in the blender, magic bullet, or food processor. Add a tbsp. of water to thin it a bit. Squeeze a small lime into the mix. Add a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth.
You don’t need much; one avocado makes enough for 3-4 salads. A little bit goes a long way!
You can also add in some Pico de Gallo for a little extra spice.
This is really great layered in a clear bowl or on a big plate. It’s a pretty dish to bring to a potluck too!