Nutrition

Eat the Rainbow

Looking to fight disease and improve your health?

Put colorful fruits and veggies on your plate.

Ever heard of the “rainbow diet?” It’s not an actual diet — it refers to choosing fruits and veggies in a rainbow of colors.

Through broad guidelines, government experts hope to bring healthier eating patterns to all Americans despite our regional and ethnic backgrounds. One of the main guidelines is to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Eating an array of colorful foods regularly helps give your body the nutrients it needs. Besides fiber, vitamins and minerals, naturally colorful foods contain phytochemicals. These powerful plant substances give fruits and veggies their color and help fight disease.

Research has shown that eating a variety of these plant substances may help to:

  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Lower your risk for certain cancers and chronic diseases
  • Help ward off type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Prevent some eye diseases
  • Maintain heart health
  • Improve memory
  •  Help build strong bones and teeth

Your daily quota

Think nutrient dense. Aim to fill half your plate with colorful fruits and veggies at each meal. Your produce

can be fresh, raw or cooked, canned, frozen or dried. How much you should consume depends on your age,

gender, calorie needs and activity level.

Choose MyPlate.gov has ideas about how to add fruits and veggies into your meals.

A rainbow of choices

Ready to shop the rainbow? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Red: Red apples, cranberries, red grapes, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon,

pink or red grapefruit, tomatoes, radishes, radicchio, red peppers, red onions

Blue/purple: Raisins, blackberries, blueberries, plums, purple grapes, purple cabbage, purple figs

White: Bananas, white nectarines, white peaches, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, potatoes

Green: Green apples, green grapes, kiwi fruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, avocado, broccoli, spinach,

okra, artichoke, zucchini, lettuce, celery, asparagus

Yellow/orange: Yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, nectarines, mangoes,

grapefruit, pineapple, yellow peppers, pumpkin, sweet corn, yellow tomatoes, lemons, sweet potatoes