Eating the Rainbow

Eating the Rainbow

Courtney Ortega, Reporter

Eating healthy can lead you in all different trails, and, for me, raised all sorts of questions. You might feel lost, I know I did, when picking the right foods to eat. An easy way to eat healthy is simply following the motto, “Eating the rainbow.”

Eating the rainbow is eating different color fruits and veggies. Each color in the rainbow has its own special nutritional effect on your body.

Let’s start off with the first color in the rainbow, red. Red fruits and veggies are colored by natural plant pigments called lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene may help reduce the risk of several types of cancer, specifically prostate cancer, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants that prevent cell damage, according to North Dakota State University. Red fruits and veggies can also keep your heart healthy. Some red fruits and veggies are tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, red apples, watermelon and red cabbage.

Now, are yellow and orange. Yellow and orange fruits and veggies are colored by natural plant pigments called carotenoids. Scientists have reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce heart disease and can improve immune system function. These foods also keep your eyes healthy, according to Kahili-Palama Health Center. These fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which keep you from catching colds.

Green fruits and vegetables contain chlorophyll. Dark greens, such as spinach and other leafy greens contain lutein and folate (a vitamin B). This helps keep your eyes healthy. Green fruits and veggies keep your bones and teeth strong as well. Some green fruits and vegetables are spinach, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, green grapes, kiwi, limes, peas, artichokes, avocados and green apples.

Colored by pigments called anthocyanins, blue and purple fruits and vegetables have the same cool health benefits as red fruits and vegetables. They destroys free radicals. They keep your heart healthy and prevent the risk of cancer.
Even though white isn’t exactly part of the rainbow, you still need some of those white fruits and veggies. These are also colored by pigments called anthoxanthins. Anthoxanthins contain allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. As an added bonus, some white fruits and veggies such as bananas, are good sources of potassium. A few white fruits and vegetables are bananas, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes and turnips.

We live in a world where people would rather order something off of the dollar menu at McDonalds because it’s easier, than eat healthy. Even though it may be confusing at first, eating the rainbow is definitely not only an easy start for anyone, but the right choice for those wanting to eat healthier. So try it today. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get healthy and how eating healthier will make you feel better.