No, we definitely are not talking about Skittles. Eating the rainbow is about produce — fruits and veggies. It’s imperative that we eat a wide variety of fresh produce, not only to diversify the good gut bacteria of our microbiome, but also to receive an abundant, beautiful, prismatic spectrum of nutrients to optimally nourish our bodies and glow from the inside out. The rainbow diet isn’t just a diet, it’s a way of life. Here’s a rundown on what exactly ROYGBIV has to offer.
Antioxidants, antioxidants, antioxidants. You’re going to feel like we’re a broken record for repeating this word, but there are many kinds and we need them all — not just for glowing skin, but for disease prevention and detox. Red fruits and vegetables protect our hearts, which has the advantage of being easy to remember. The antioxidants present in this color of produce help reduce the chances of heart issues developing, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Think: beets, radishes, tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, pomegranates, etc.
Orange and Yellow
Beta-carotene is the name of the game when it comes to orange and red fruits and veggies. This powerful compound
protects the nervous system, promoting both eye and brain health, while also supporting the immune system. This is very much a beauty nutrient, as it is a derivative of vitamin A — think of it like an internal retinol. You can find it in carrots, pumpkins and squashes, sweet potatoes, peppers, apricots, peaches, mangos, papayas, pineapples, and so much more.
It’s no secret that greens are major. Not only do these nutrient powerhouses promote glowing skin and amazing digestion, but studies show
that they may help to slow cognitive decline as we age due to the neuroprotective actions of lutein, folate, beta-carotene, and phylloquinone. They can also slow age-related macular degeneration, meaning they are great for eye health as well. They are highly alkaline, helping to foster a hostile environment in the body for cancer. Go for broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, cabbage, green beans, zucchini, collards, green peppers, kiwis, green grapes, avocados, and more.
Both blue and purple are a little more rare in the natural world of produce, but they aren’t nonexistent. And in fact, they may be the most beneficial. These darker colors tend to be the highest in antioxidants, so they contribute to the prevention of cancer, heart disease, stroke, premature aging, and many other attacks on our immune system and inflammatory responses. Purple cabbage, purple kale, purple cauliflower, eggplant, purple potatoes, blackberries, blueberries, plums, figs and any purple variety of your favorite veggie is rich in these phyto-superstars.
We may have concluded the rainbow, but we’re not done yet. While it may feel like a white plant would be devoid of key nutrients, that’s not at all the case. White fruits and veggies contain nutrients called plant sterols and stanols (PSS
) that help to reduce bad cholesterol by blocking it from being absorbed in the intestines. They are also rich in magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Reach for cauliflower, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, turnips, bananas, white nectarines and peaches, and pears.
Not only does eating the rainbow beautify your plate, but it also beautifies your skin and hair — while strengthening our immune systems and boosting longevity. So make rainbow produce a goal on your grocery list, and stack your plates with ROYGBIV (and W) as often as you can.