The importance of "eating your greens" might be a no-brainer, but have you considered the importance of eating your reds, yellows, purples, and whites too? Eating a rainbow of plant-based foods is critical to ensuring you're getting the vitamins and minerals you need for optimal health.
How does eating the rainbow support optimal health? Eating a diverse range of plant-based wholefoods is critical to supporting a healthy gut, and our gut health plays a central role in influencing our overall health and wellbeing. For optimal health, we need to be eating a colourful range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and wholegrains to support a varied nutrient intake.
Dr Megan Rossi, a renowned gut health researcher and registered dietician, recommends aiming for at least 20 to 30 varieties of plant-based foods each week. According to Dr Rossi, eating a variety of colours is critical because each colour group contains different nutrients that the gut thrives on - which is why we make sure you get served up every colour of the rainbow, in every Craft Smoothie box!
To help you achieve a healthier gut, our smoothie boxes include over 30 different varieties of fresh fruit, vegetables, and organic superfoods so you don't have to worry about meal planning and ticking off all the colours of the rainbow.
The colour of fruits and vegetables is influenced by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun’s harmful rays, and other threats. And each color indicates an abundance of specific nutrients. Let’s take a look at what the color of your food can tell you about its nutrition - and how you can eat a more colorful range of phytonutrients to help your gut (and body) to function at its best.
Eating Your Reds To Up Your Intake Of Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
Why are red foods healthy?
- Red fruits and veggies are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, including lycopene and anthocyanins, which may have benefits for protecting against heart disease, fighting cancer and decreasing the risk of stroke.
- Red apples contain quercetin, a compound that has been linked to fighting colds, the flu, and allergies - as they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
- As a rich source of anthocyanins and quercetin, strawberries and raspberries have a wide range of heart-health benefits attributed to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Their fibre and potassium content may help stabilise blood sugars to ward off diabetes.
- The lycopene in red foods, such as tomato, can help protect our skin from damage as well as reduce the risk of cancer.
- Red capsicum has over 10 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green capsicum!
- Many of these red foods are also prebiotic, which means they feed our gut bacteria. This is vital for healthy digestion, immune function, and even mental health.
- Don’t forget to eat the skins of red fruit and vegetables so you don’t miss any of their nutrients or cancer-fighting phytochemicals!
What healthy red foods can you expect in a Craft Smoothie box?
- Red apples
- Red grapes
- Goji berries
- Beetroot powder
- Freeze-dried raspberries
What other healthy red foods can you to add to your diet?
- Red capsicum
- Pink grapefruit
- Red cabbage
- Red potato
- Red onion
What are some easy ways to eat more reds?
- Make one of our fresh strawberry smoothie recipes for a delicious summer breakfast
- Make refreshing watermelon juice in your blender by combining 1/2 a chopped watermelon with the juice of 1/2 a lime and a handful of fresh mint
- Make a Mexican salad by combining diced red onion, red pepper, and red chili with black beans, corn, avocado, and coriander - and there's a rainbow meal right there!
Eating Your Greens To Help Detoxify The Body, Enhance Energy, and Support Immunity
Why are greens healthy?
- Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color, which has cancer-fighting properties, aids liver detoxification, promotes wound healing, improves digestion and weight control, and protects skin health
- The phytochemicals in green fruits and vegetables include flavonoids and carotenoids (lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin) which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits
- Green fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C which aids in iron absorption, protects the body's cells from oxidative damage due to free radicals, enhances immune system function, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy
- Green produce is also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin E - vitamin A can help enhance immune function, while vitamin E helps to protect cells from free radical damage
- Green plant-based foods are rich in potassium which helps to maintain healthy blood pressure
- Leafy green vegetables are rich in folate, a nutrient which helps with red blood cell developments and is especially important for pregnant women to consume to help prevent birth defects
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts) have been shown to enhance immune function and contain indoles which can help protect against cancer
- Saponins, a powerful phytochemical found in green plant-based foods, have anti-cancer properties and may stop cancer cells from multiplying
- Consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruit has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Researchers have found that, compared with other apple varieties, Granny Smiths appear to have the most beneficial effect on good gut bacteria
- Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits and are loaded with healthy monosaturated fatty acids, dietary fibre, and over 20 important nutrients - they're ideal for supporting weight loss and heart health
What healthy green foods can you expect in a Craft Smoothie box?
- Green kiwifruit
- Green pears
- Green apples
- Green grapes
- Matcha powder
- Pumpkin seeds
What other healthy green food can you to add to your diet?
- Brussels sprouts
- Romaine lettuce
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
- Green beans
- Herbs like parsley and coriander
What are some easy ways to eat more greens?
- Make green smoothie recipes for breakfast (like the ones you can expect in a Craft Smoothie box)
- Blend your own plant-based pesto using 1 cup of pumpkin seeds, 3 Tbs of olive oil, 1 Tbs of lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 cup of coriander and a dash of salt
- Make an easy guacamole by combining 2 ripe avocados, 1 Tbs of lemon juice or lime juice, 1/2 red onion (minced), 1/2 tsp of sea salt and a dash of pepper
- Try one of the salads from our Plant-Based Diet For Beginners Guide
We'll be building on this article in the coming weeks so you can understand the benefits of eating a diverse range of purple, yellow and white plant-based foods too.
If you want to try adding more colours and plant-based foods to your diet, give Craft Smoothie a try and we'll deliver everything you need to benefit from a diet rich in every colour of the rainbow!