Why A Rainbow On Your Plate Makes For A Healthy Meal

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What’s a rainbow diet and how can it add better nutrition to your food? Nutritionist and author Kavita Devgan explains.

A rainbow never gets old, so why should you? A natural phenomenon, there is much that can be learnt from a rainbow about your nutrition. A diet high in colourful fruits and vegetables has been shown to provide a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, bioflavonoids and other nutrients that support a balanced diet. What to eat and what to avoid becomes simple if you remember your rainbow colours. Here’s a simple, easy to remember guide.

Violets & Blues: Foods containing blue/purple pigments such as jamun (Indian plum), damson plums, beets, purple grapes and purple cabbage all contain antioxidant compounds that protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals (atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging), keeping your corporeal machinery running smoothly over time.

 

Greens – The pigment chlorophyll present in all green plants has anticancer and detoxifying properties too. In addition to chlorophyll, green leaves are high in carotenoids, bioflavonoids, vitamins and organic mineral complexes. In short, a prescription for a healthier, longer life!

Yellows & Oranges – These fruits and vegetables are high in carotenoids, which are primarily immunity boosters. Orange foods such as carrots, pumpkins, yellow capsicums, mangoes, papayas and cape gooseberries (rasbhari in northern India) are great for you.

Reds – The red colouring in natural foods is from lycopenes, which are proven to prevent heart disease and prostate cancer. They also prevent tissue degeneration. Tomatoes, watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots and pink guavas are the must-haves. Cooked tomato products are also beneficial as lycopene is better absorbed when it has been heated! So tomato sauce, tomato paste and tomato puree are all good.
Hot tip> Buy the reddest tomatoes you can find. They contain the most lycopenes.

Say NO to whites: A rainbow does not have white in it, and neither should your diet have much of it! This pallid colour represents all the white flour, salt, sugar and butter we should avoid. The predominant component of most simple carbohydrates is white refined sugar, which is unhealthy for your digestive system, causing rapid wear and tear.

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All images courtesy Pixabay

About Author

Kavita Devgan

Kavita Devgan is a Delhi based writer, nutritionist, weight management consultant, speaker and the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People & Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 kickass traditional habits for a fitter you.