Eat The Rainbow: The Secret To A Healthier Immune System

Eat The Rainbow: The Secret To A Healthier Immune System

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 immune health? Including a diverse range of plant-based wholefoods in your diet is key to supporting a healthy gut, and our gut health plays a central role in influencing a healthy-functioning immune system (around 70% of our immune system is located in the gut). Including a colourful range of high-fibre, plant foods in our diets helps ensure a varied nutrient intake and promotes a healthy gut microbiome.

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 and support optimal immune health, our Superfood 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 external threats, and each colour indicates an abundance of specific nutrients. Let’s take a look at what the colour 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 Red Foods To Up Your Intake Of Disease-Fighting Antioxidants 

Why are red foods healthy?

  • Red fruits and vegetables 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 tomatoes, 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?

  • Strawberries
  • Red apple
  • Red grapes
  • Tamarillo
  • Cranberries
  • Goji berries
  • Beetroot powder
  • Freeze-dried raspberries

What other healthy red foods can you to add to your diet?

  • Tomato
  • Red capsicum
  • Rhubarb
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Pomegranate
  • Red cabbage
  • Red potato
  • Red onion
  • Cherries
  • Radish
  • Watermelon
  • Chili

What are some easy ways to eat more red foods?

  • 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 capsicum, and red chili with black beans, corn, avocado, and coriander - and there's a rainbow meal right there!

Eating Green Foods To Detoxify The Body, Enhance Energy And Support Immunity

Why are green foods 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 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
  • Naturally-green foods are 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 a good source of folate, a nutrient which helps with red blood cell developments and is especially important for pregnant women 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 fruits has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Researchers have found that, compared with other apple varieties, Granny Smith apples 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?

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Green kiwifruit
  • Green pear
  • Green apple
  • Green grapes
  • Matcha powder
  • Pumpkin seeds

What other healthy green foods can you to add to your diet?

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Rocket
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Arugula
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Herbs like parsley and coriander

What are some easy ways to eat more green foods?

  • 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 salt to taste
  • 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 pepper to taste
  • Try one of the salads from our Plant-Based Diet For Beginners Guide

Eating Purples Foods To Fight Disease And Support A Healthy Heart And Brain 

Why are purple foods healthy?

  • Naturally-purple coloured foods contain the antioxidant, anthocyanin, which gives these fruits and vegetables their vivid purple or blue colours. Anthocyanins have a wide range of health-promoting benefits and are associated with reducing inflammation and therefore lowering the risk of chronic disease
  • Antioxidants like anthocyanin can also lower the risk of neurological diseases and cognitive declines, as well as urinary tract infections
  • Purple foods contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and can help decrease blood pressure. The resveratrol in purple foods may therefore help protect from disease and support heart health
  • Purple and blue foods, like blackcurrants and blueberries, are also linked to improving memory and reducing the risk of cognitive decline

What healthy purple foods can you expect in a Craft Smoothie box?

  • Acai powder
  • Blackcurrant powder
  • Maqui berry powder
  • Beetroot powder
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Grapes
  • Figs

What other healthy purple foods can you to add to your diet?

  • Red cabbage
  • Red onion
  • Red potatoes
  • Purple cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Blackberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Kumara
  • Raisins

What are some easy ways to eat more purple foods?

  • Try a Craft Smoothie recipe for breakfast with fresh berries or purple superfoods like acai, blackcurrant or maqui berry
  • Make kumara chips by cutting a kumara into wedges drizzling with oil and sprinkling with garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Make babaganoush dip by bending 3 roast eggplants with 3 Tbsp of tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp of cumin and sea salt
  • Add purple fruits like grapes or blueberries to your salads

Eating Oranges And Yellow Foods To Enhance Eye Health, Reduce Skin Damage And Fight Disease

Why are orange and yellow foods healthy?

  • Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are loaded with important nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene (which is converted into vitamin A by the human body), zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and folate
  • Orange foods are loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant which supports the immune system, protects against cardiovascular disease, and helps rebuild collagen in the skin
  • Orange and yellow foods are a rich source of beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant which gives these fruits and vegetables their orange glow. Beta-carotene supports eye health, preventing macular degeneration and improving night vision, delays cognitive ageing, and can help protect skin from sun damage
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are two other types of carotenoids present in orange and yellow foods that are important eye nutrients and act as antioxidants, protecting the body from disease-causing free radicals
  • Some yellow foods, such as mango and carrots are a good source of lycopene - a powerful antioxidant which is linked to improved heart health, prostate health, skin protection, and reduced risk of certain types of cancer
  • Certain members of the yellow/orange food group, including carrots, cantaloupe, summer squash, and corn are healthy wholefood sources of folate. Folate is one of the B-Vitamins needed to make red and white blood cells, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA. Adequate folate intake is therefore extremely important during periods of rapid growth, including pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence
  • Pumpkin, orange kumara, and butternut squash are all good sources of potassium which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Pineapple is a good source of the rare antioxidant, bromelaine, which can help ease indigestion and reduce swelling and infection

What healthy orange and yellow foods can you expect in a Craft Smoothie box?

  • Mango
  • Apricot
  • Turmeric
  • Yellow peach
  • Yellow nectarine
  • Orange
  • Mandarin
  • Tangelo
  • Lemon
  • Carrot
  • Persimmon

What other healthy orange and yellow foods can you to add to your diet?

  • Pineapple
  • Yellow capsicum
  • Orange capsicum
  • Kumara
  • Pumpkin
  • Papaya
  • Butternut squash
  • Cantaloupe melon

What are some easy ways to eat more orange and yellow foods?

  • You can make some incredibly delicious superfood smoothies using a combination of yellow and orange foods - we love combining mango, carrot, and orange with a superfood blend of turmeric, goji berries, coconut and nuts or seeds. 
  • We love our turmeric lattes around here and the good news is that they’re super easy to make at home - see our fail-proof turmeric latte recipe here.
  • You can’t beat a trusty pumpkin soup in winter and it tastes even better when you make way for a few other orange veggies - carrot and kumara.

Eating White And Brown Foods To Support Cardiovascular Health And Reduce Cancer Risks

Why are white and brown foods healthy?

  • While the spotlight is often on brightly coloured foods for their health benefits, white plant foods contain important nutrients that are important to include in a well-balanced diet
  • White foods like bananas, potatoes, and turnips are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which is associated with lowering blood pressure and therefore supporting better cardiovascular health
  • Onions and garlic contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which are associated with reduced inflammation and therefore reduced risk of cancer and other diseases
  • Garlic and onions contain the phytochemical, allium, which is known to help reduce the risk of certain cancers and protect heart health
  • Cauliflower and turnips are part of the group of cruciferous vegetables which are high in compounds called glucosinolates, which may have cancer-fighting properties
  • Cauliflower is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, and folate

What white and brown foods can you expect in a Craft Smoothie box?

  • Banana
  • Pear
  • White nectarine
  • White peach
  • Ginger
  • Dates

What other healthy white and brown foods can you to add to your diet?

  • Cauliflower
  • Turnip
  • Parsnip
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Shallot
  • Leek
  • Potato
  • Artichoke

What are some easy ways to eat more white and brown foods?

  • Start your day with one of these banana smoothie recipes from Craft Smoothie
  • Add onion and garlic to your stir-fries and roast vegetables
  • Make your own curry paste using fresh shallots and garlic and cook with vegetables like cauliflower and mushrooms for a tasty vegetarian curry

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!


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