The plant-based diet is gaining popularity among health-conscious people because of its health benefits. Also, the general population became more aware of it when many top-performing athletes revealed that they are following this type of eating pattern. This is no wonder because studies over the years have revealed that a diet rich in whole foods improved overall health and significantly reduced the risk of developing chronic diseases. There are different types of plant-forward diets like the vegetarian diet, vegan diet, semi-vegetarian diet, etc. This article will best attempt to answer what a rainbow diet is.
What Is A Rainbow Diet?
A rainbow diet is a plant-forward diet where you daily eat plant-based foods that have seven colors. These colors are red, yellow, orange, blue-purple, brown-tan, green, and white. When shopping for groceries, you must be mindful about getting plant-based food with an assortment of colors. The advantage of following this type of eating pattern is that there will be diversity in the nutrients. This also makes it easier to follow a balanced plant-based diet.
Breaking Down The Rainbow Diet
The red color of fruits and vegetables is due to the pigments anthocyanin and lycopene; these are also antioxidants. Also, many red-colored plant-based foods are good sources of vitamin C.
Studies suggest that anthocyanin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against damage by free radicals. These phytonutrients are found in red-colored foods like tomatoes, strawberries, red bell peppers, cherries, papaya, etc. It is also found in pink-colored fruits like watermelon and raspberries.
Most yellow-colored plant-based foods like yellow bell peppers, golden beets, corn, and summer squash are full of red-orange pigment beta carotene. Also, some yellow foods like lemon and yellow bell peppers are good sources of vitamin C, which can strengthen the immune system function. Last but not least, fruits like bananas are rich in potassium, and pineapples have a high concentration of B vitamins.
Orange-colored plant-based food is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that can boost the immune system. Also, it plays a key role in maintaining eye health. Beta-carotene is found in foods like sweet potatoes, mangoes, butternut squash, carrots, papaya, and cantaloupe.
Blue And Purple
The blue and purple colors of some plant-based foods are due to high concentrations of anthocyanins. It is found in blueberries, plums, red cabbages, purple sweet potatoes, blackberries, purple asparagus, etc.
Dark leafy green vegetables are good sources of antioxidants. Also, cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, garden cress, and bok choy contain iron and folate.
Including these foods in your plant-based diet will ensure that you will get adequate amounts of all the required nutrients.