Eat The Rainbow. Here's How (video)

 

 

The health-promoting chemicals we get from plants are called “phytochemicals”. They represent one of the eight categories of nutrients that I talk about in my book and that I suggest you become familiar with.

Many phytochemicals act as antioxidants in the body preventing cellular damage and supporting cellular repair, they help reduce inflammation, they support good digestion and more.

Certain families of phytonutrients have been associated with different colours.  When you “eat the rainbow” you ensure you are getting some of every family represented in your diet.

If you struggle getting all the colours into yourself or your kids, scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn about the broad spectrum phytochemical supplement I recommend.

The Colours of Phytochemicals….

Lycopene:

Found in red foods like red peppers, guava, papaya, watermelon, pink grapefruit mangos, tomatoes and watermelon.  A type of carotenoid that is heart protective, helps with male fertility, prevent the aging of the skin. It also helps prevent diabetes and osteoporosis.

Carotenoids:

Found in yellow and orange foods like sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, yellow squash, carrots and melons.  Lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin are just a few of the carotenoids   Carotenoids are anti-oxidants and may be helpful in preventing cancer.  All are helpful with eyesight.

Chlorophyll:

This is the green pigment found in all plants. It cleanses and builds the blood, and helps detoxifies the body. It helps promote good bacteria and is a major antioxidant. It supports the immune system and helps fight infection and may help protect against cancer. Good sources of chlorophyll are found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, cilantro and wheat grass

Anthocyanins:

Break open the bottle of red wine and enjoy the benefits of anthocyanins. These are found in purple, black and blue foods.  Anthocyanins are major anti-oxidants that helps protect the blood, the brain, the nervous system as well as support the growth of collagen and connective tissue. They help protect eyesight and have heart protective and cancer preventative properties. Blueberries, red and purple grapes, raspberries, black currents, black berries, black raspberries, pomegranate, red cabbage, eggplant are all good sources.  The richest source of anthocyanins are found in black foods  like black beans, black sesame, blackberries, black rice and black cherry tomatoes .

Catechins:

Catehcins are found is green and black tea and chocolate. All catechins are potent antioxidants. They are heart protective, improve cognitive function and are cancer protective

How To Experience the Rainbow

  • The best health is going to be achieved by having a combination of all colours

  • Rotate the foods in each colour group so you are not always eating the same red food or the same yellow food

  • Look to heritage varieties like black tomatoes, purple carrots, purple potatoes to diversify your rainbow

  • Combine the colours on your plate every day and try to have some in every meal. Enjoy!

If you struggle to get the recommended 7-13 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables into your child (or yourself!), this is the supplement I recommend.  

I like it because it uses the entire edible portion of the food, it is made from foods that are left to ripen on their own which maximizes their phytochemical content, it is tested for chemical residue, and it has been studied for its antioxidant and anti inflammatory effect on the body.

Watch the featured video on this page to learn more about the action of antioxidants, and how you can easily get the 25000 phytonutrients we need into you and your child every single day using concentrated whole food.

Honestly…. if it’s simplicity you’re after, you’ll want to check this out.  We eat well in my family, but I still give this to my kids and take it myself to bridge the gap.

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About Jess Sherman, M.Ed, R.H.N

Jess is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ and Family Health Expert, specializing in brain health & resilience for kids. She is the author of Raising Resilience: Take the stress out of feeding your family & love your life, a mother and an advocate for children’s health. Her book and online resources have helped families all over the world improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, autism and mood disorders by fitting the food and feeding piece into their health puzzles. She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work helping families get healthier, and she continues to work at bringing an understanding of the power of good nutrition to the mainstream conversation about children’s mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses and as a  contributor to print and online magazines. You can reach Jess at www.jesssherman.com 

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