An Overview of the Rainbow Food Diet: A Phytonutrient, Antioxidant Rich and Colorful Nutritional Plan

The Rainbow Diet is based on the premise of implementing food made up of all of the rainbow colors – red, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple. For it is in the rainbow eating diet style that there is found all the rich nutrients of both phytonutrient and antioxidant treasures. It is in the colorful nutritional plan of nature in which health may be restored.

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Developed by Dr. Eric Braverman and his wife Dasha, the Rainbow Diet is a diet plan which nutritional science has promoted intensely over the years with it seems, limited success. Their targeted goal with this diet plan is not so much to lose weight as to encourage the restoration of good health. Once reaching restored health, natural weight loss would follow.(2) Remember, when in school we were told, “you need to eat one (or several) of each of the food groups?” Evidently, school nutritionists didn’t take it far enough. Nor did they follow their own advice. Any visit to a school cafeteria today will confirm this fact. Foods which are to be shunned in the rainbow diet are any food substance which has had all color stripped from it leaving only white, such as: pasta, refined sugar, table salt and rice. These so-called “junk foods” are usually loaded with refined sugar and carbohydrates and are quite void of any nutrients at all. No phytonutrients, no antioxidants and no vitamins or minerals whatsoever.

According to this Rainbow Food Diet, foods colored blue, purple and red foods are known to be foods super rich in antioxidants that are believed to help protect against cancer and damage to tendons, cartilage, ligaments and blood vessels. In this list are found fruits and vegetables such as: cherries, purple grapes, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes and purple cabbage.

The lycopene antioxidant pigment found in tomatoes, certain grapefruit (Ruby Red) and watermelon is known to be a defense against prostate cancer and heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to promote brain health, immune functions, and protection against cancer and heart disease, can be found in red snapper meat.

Lycopene is the antioxidant pigment found in tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon that gives these foods their reddish color. Studies indicate that including lycopene-rich foods in one’s diet may help to reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer, macular degeneration and cardiovascular disease. Lycopene may also help prevent osteoporosis and reduce the severity of allergy symptoms.

In the orange and yellow food category, these foods typically contain carotenoids, which contain even more antioxidants and help defend against cancer, as well as helping the body produce more white blood cells and boost immunity. Vitamin A and beta carotene found in carrots can help protect skin health. The spice turmeric is often used as a heart tonic, digestive aid, and for the healing of wounds, and is also believed to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Yellow citrus foods such as oranges, bananas and lemons are also an excellent source of vitamin C and the antioxidant selenium, and the banana is well known for it’s potassium content and along with Vitamin C, is known to help reduce cancer risk.

Most health experts agree that in order to take in the broadest spectrum of essential nutrients, it’s important to eat as many colors of fruits and vegetables as possible. Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy a broad palate of produce.

Basic Food Breakdown:

  • Red: Cranberries, strawberries, radicchio, tomatoes, red peppers.
  • Orange and Yellow: Carrots, pumpkin, yellow and orange peppers, squash, and sweet potatoes and bananas.
  • Green: Dark leafy greens such as kale, bok choy, spinach, and arugula, as well as broccoli, green beans, and snap peas.
  • Blue and Purple: eggplant, raisins, blueberries, red cabbage
  • White: bananas, mushrooms, cauliflower, potatoes and garlic.

Simple Sample Meal Treats:

* Top your cereal with berries or raisins.

* Have a large salad at lunch or dinner and aim to make it as multi-colored as possible.

* Instead of pasta, rice or potatoes at dinner, try sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

Our food was created to be appealing to our senses, especially our senses of taste, smell and sight. Within the skin pigments and edible portions of these living foods lies a vast array of phytonutrients most of them not yet fully understood nor entirely documented by science.


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