We all know very well that eating vegetables and fruits is essential for a healthy lifestyle. However, statistics show that nationwide we do not consume enough (1)which can lead to vitamin deficiencies and contribute to diseases development such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, mental and cognitive decline or even development of cancer (2).
As a remedy to this problem, a clever and practical idea of “Eat the rainbow” was invented, encouraging the people to consume more fruits and vegetables.
But why is it so important to eat colorfully?
Primarily not for the beautiful pictures, however aesthetics cannot be neglected in today’s world, but to make your diet varied and diverse. By changing up the colors and the foods, we can ensure that we cover the most possible vitamins and minerals that our body requires. Research shows that diversity in diet has been linked to better nutrient intake(3).
The key to this method is that certain vitamins and minerals are found in higher amounts in certain colored foods. For example, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (citrus fruits or gourds) are rich in vitamins C and A, greens (leafy vegetables, asparagus, avocado) are rich in vitamins K, B and E, while purple and red produce (berries, eggplant or purple cabbage) are higher in vitamins C and K.
The reason why these vegetables and fruits are so colorful is due to the different phytochemicals in them. However, these are not essential nutrients for us, but more and more research is supporting that alongside the vitamins and minerals, these phytochemicals also have numerous benefits to our body(4).
It’s important to note that this will not necessarily solve all of our health problems, but we can surely be one step closer to health. If you haven’t been eating variously so far, this method will definitely make a change in your diet, which will hopefully result in better well-being. It is also worth mentioning that apart from the nutritional value of the food, we also have to consider our relationship with them and as always aim for moderation. Stress and anxiety can often do more harm to our health than the fact that we may not eat quality food for a day or two. Of course, in the long run if we would like to improve and maintain our health it’s essential to increase our consumption of vegetables and fruits.
How to get started?
First and foremost, gradually. If you haven’t been a fruit and veggie lover before, it’s important not to stock up your cupboards with huge packs because you won’t be able to eat them all and it will end up getting spoiled. You have to find ways that are sustainable and can be incorporated into your weekly routine.
Here are some practical tips on how to get more color in your diet:
- Add an extra fruit or vegetable to your weekly shopping list and then add a different one the following week.
- Don’t just think of a raw product. Pickles or dried fruits can also be great options.
- Buy multiple colors from one type of product. For example, if you’d get 5 apples a week, mix and buy both green and red apples. The same applies for grapes or peppers.
- To color your breakfast, you can mix frozen berries into natural yogurt.
- Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices are a really easy form of increasing your vitamin intake. (In moderation, the recommended daily intake is 150 ml.)
- Try a new recipe you haven’t done before, experiment with new ingredients.
Here at fresh by Terra, we have set ourselves the goal of providing varied and quality food to your workplace or to your home, on days when you don’t have time to cook for yourself. On our á la carte menu you will find a wide range of carefully selected dishes and with our Fresh Juices you can make your meals even more colorful.
1. OTÁP 2014
2. Tulchinsky, T., 2017. Correction to: micronutrient deficiency conditions: Global Health issues. Public Health Reviews, 38(1).
3. Randall E, Nichaman MZ, Contant CF Jr. Diet diversity and nutrient intake. J Am Diet Assoc. 1985;85(7):830‐836.
4. Leitzmann C. Characteristics and Health Benefits of Phytochemicals. Forsch Komplementmed. 2016;23(2):69‐74.