Eating a Rainbow

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One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to eat more widely – to enjoy a range of fruits and vegetables, from all colours of the rainbow. In fact, studies have shown that our tendency to stick to the same foods is leaving most of us lacking in certain essential vitamins and minerals.

Fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green and white/brown. Each colour carries its own set of unique chemicals called phytochemicals, which help nourish our bodies and fight disease – as well as giving them their colour.30b1OOOPIC57

Red fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant.



Anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties.


Carotenoids colour this group. A well-known carotenoid called beta-carotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots. It is converted to vitamin A, which gives us healthy eyes. Another carotenoid called lutein is stored in the eye. So eat your orange vegetables and fruits to help keep your peepers healthy.

Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles and saponins, all of which are great for our health. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are full of folate.

White fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic). known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are a good place to get your potassium.

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