Occasionally when you read about eating healthy, especially when the topic leans towards eating fruits and vegetables, you will hear the phrase “eat the rainbow.” This is a great practice to follow, but many people may not, at least initially, be aware of what exactly this means. Are you unsure? You have come to the right place!
Eat the rainbow refers to eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in a range of different colours, instead of limiting yourself tow only a couple of different ones. Thus, you might find yourself eating things like carrots, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas instead of just strawberries and carrots.
So what exactly do you get out of eating this variety of fruits and vegetables? Why is it important for your body and health? The answer is simple:
The food you eat contains nutrients you need in order to survive. You need nutrients to help your body function! Different food contains different nutrients (both in the specific nutrients as well as the quantity). You might think you can get away with just eating the fruits you enjoy, such as strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, to get the nutrients your body needs. However, the colour of fruits and vegetables actually plays a role in what nutrients they contain. This means that, while you are getting nutrients from red fruit like strawberries, you are missing out on the iron and other nutrients you will find higher quantities of in green vegetables.
Eating one colour of fruits and vegetables is better than not eating any—but you are still missing out on all these other nutrients, which can put your health in a compromised position.
Another secondary reason to eat the rainbow is happiness. Studies show eating from a plate bearing food in a variety of colours (e.g. a rainbow of colour) actually increases your happiness, at least while you are eating. Thus, fill your plate with bright reds, oranges, and yellows. Why not throw in some green in there too, to introduce the forest?