Use the Rainbow to Attain a Healthy Balance

Studies have shown that vitamins attained from food are much more beneficial to an individual’s overall health. The Rainbow Method is one way to ensure you get them.

Human beings require vitamins and minerals to be healthy. However, when many people hear the word vitamins, they often think of the chalky pills available over the counter at the pharmacy. In reality, supplements are not typically the best way to fulfill the daily vitamin needs of a healthy adult. Supplements are expensive and are not absorbed as readily as the vitamins already in food.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause a variety of ailments, including dry skin, vision problems, bone loss, and even death. While it’s nearly impossible for a healthy adult to consume too much of any one vitamin through food, vitamin toxicity can happen through the use of supplements. Those considering taking vitamin pills or supplements should first consult a doctor.

Though the average person may not know that butternut squash contains vitamin A, carotenoids, and other important compounds, he or she can recognize its distinct soft-orange hue. Color is one of the ways nature indicates particular vitamins in a food source. Some nutrition experts recommend using the colors of the rainbow to ensure individuals get in all their vitamins.

The colors of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. For the purposes of vitamins, the last three colors are groups together as blue or purple. To get in necessary nutrients using the rainbow method, an individual must choose one food from each color group per day.

Red Foods

Red foods are one of the easiest groups to get in. The United States consumes a large quantity of tomatoes through tomato sauce, either on pizza or on pastas. This is an excellent way to get in vital antioxidants. However, there are many red foods besides tomatoes that offer myriad benefits to the body.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a source of vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as lycopene, carotene, and other antioxidants important for good nutrition.

Strawberries: Strawberries are a sweet, nutritious fruit containing vitamin C, potassium, folate, and a variety of flavonoids.

Cranberries: Considered by many as a “super food,” cranberries are another good source for vitamin C. They also contain manganese, as well as fiber and antioxidants.

Orange Foods

When an individual hears “orange foods,” he or she will probably think of an orange or tangerine. However, there are many foods in this group that don’t come from the citrus family at all.

Peaches: Peaches are a sweet member of the rose family. They contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.

Sweet Potatoes: These starchy cousins to the regular spud are an excellent source of beta carotene, as well as vitamin C and vitamin B6.

Carrots: Carrots have been long touted for their vitamin A and carotenoids, which lend them their bright orange color. However, they are also excellent sources of potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium, among others.

Yellow Foods

Another important group, yellow foods include a very popular crop in countries all over the world: corn. However, bananas, many melons, and citrus fruits are another way to get this color of the rainbow.

Bananas: Well known for their high content of potassium, bananas are one of the most popular and widely available fruits. They also contain vitamins B6 and C.

Corn: A staple crop in many countries, corn is a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, and a long list of other vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional compounds important for a healthy diet.

Pineapple: A citrus fruit, pineapple is a source of vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B1.

Green Foods

Don’t forget those leafy greens. The green foods group is a tough one to get in with picky kids because of their characteristic bitter taste. Experiment with other green vegetables, such as green beans, lima beans, and peas to “go green.”

Collards: These leafy greens are a good source of vitamins C, K, and A. They are also a source of fiber.

Broccoli: This healthy vegetable has been lauded by several studies for its anti-cancer properties. It’s a significant source of calcium and vitamins C, K, and A. It’s also very high in fiber.

Avocado: A very popular vegetarian food, the fibrous avocado has more potassium than a banana and is a significant source for B vitamins and vitamins K and E.

Blue/Indigo/Violet Foods

Possibly the sweetest color of the rainbow, the blue group includes many fruits and berries. Easy to bake into a muffin, throw into a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, or just to eat on their own, these foods are a family favorite, to be sure.

Blueberries: A member of the flowering plants, blueberries are a source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, nutrient compounds supposed to lower risks for disease.

Blackberries: Also a high source of antioxidants, blackberries are known for their fiber content, as well as vitamins C and K, B vitamins, and manganese.

Grapes: These small, sweet fruits have been linked to inhibiting several diseases and are considered great sources for antioxidants. There are many grape varieties, some of which also contain high levels of polyphenols, another purported disease-fighting compound.

Like the old commercial states, follow the rainbow. Although, there probably isn’t a bowl of fruity cereal at the end, there are many benefits to eating from the rainbow. Healthful eating not only tastes fantastic, but can help ward off many diseases. It can also make you feel great!

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