If I’ve said it once to my students, I’ve said it a hundred times – growing and eating a rainbow is fun! Back when I was a teacher, I even developed a complete elementary nutrition curriculum based on eating a rainbow!
This week I’m pleased to present the second guest post in our summer guest post series by garden lover Richard Fletcher of UK based blog WhatShed!
This post is a rainbow of great nutrition info. Bookmark it because it’s a great resource for teaching nutrition as well as inspiring your garden plantings and meals. Let’s dig in!
What The Colour Of Your Food Means
By Richard Fletcher
There are five (well kind of seven actually) basic colours of food and they each have their own benefits that they give the human body. Here we are looking at each colour and letting you know what [common example] foods are and what they are offering your body.
Green Fruit And Vegetables
You will have heard the term “eat your greens” well here we are looking at these famous greens!
What Do Green Fruit & Vegetables Contain?
Fibre, Vitamin C, Calcium, Lutein, Beta-Carotene, and Folate
What Are Green Fruit & Vegetables?
Green Peas: Growing your own peas is really cool. It is pretty easy to do and they are very easy to know when they are just perfect for picking. Pro tip! Give them a feel and make sure they feel round and a little bit soft.
Spinach: Popeye was really onto something you know! Spinach is many people’s number one “green” it has a ton of uses and always makes anything it is put in that extra bit healthier. Just make sure you check your teeth after eating.
Kiwi: Ok so you are most likely not going to be growing your own kiwi. But when it comes to fruit they are an important green. You want to make sure you only buy kiwi fruit that is firm, but not too hard.
Other Notable Green Foods: Broccoli, lettuce, and honeydew
How Greens Help Your Body
- All that fiber keeps your digestive system running perfectly.
- Eating greens is a good way to help your eyesight stay sharp.
- Greens help boost the immune system and fight off illness.
- Bones and teeth are kept strong thanks to greens.
- You are at less risk from certain types of cancer when regularly eating greens.
Red Fruit & Vegetables
There are of course a ton of different fruit and vegetables that are “red” but these ones we have listed here are the most common.
What Do Red Fruit & Vegetables Contain?
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Lycopene, Hesperidin Fibre, Ellagic Acid and Quercetin.
What Are Red Fruit & Vegetables?
Tomatoes: As long as you pick the right time of year to grow them (usually the end of summer) tomatoes are very easy to grow and offer you just a ton of different uses.
Strawberries: Strawberries are one of the best things that you can grow as you can use them for so many different things. Plus as a nice added bonus they are delicious and there is nothing better than snacking on strawberries picked from your own garden.
Red Onions: Onions always make for a great extra when you are cooking and growing your own is actually surprisingly easy.
Other Notable Red Foods: Red cabbage, cranberries, and red apples
How Reds Help Your Body
- Red fruits and vegetables have been proven to help lower your blood pressure.
- They offer a first line of protection against diabetes.
- Red fruit and veg if eaten regularly can help lower the chance of many kinds of cancer.
- Your heart will be healthier and more up to the task of fighting heart disease.
- The aging process is slowed down and they can help protect you from Alzheimer’s.
Orange & Yellow Fruit & Vegetables
Ok, so putting these two together might be kind of cheating, but let’s face it orange and yellow are very similar so we are bundling these two as one.
What Do Orange & Yellow Fruit & Vegetables Contain?
Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, Potassium, Flavonoids, and Lycopene
What Are Orange & Yellow Fruit & Vegetables?
Oranges: Ok so, we had to start with oranges and they are pretty cheap and available in supermarkets all year round so it is very easy to just go and buy them. But if you have the ability to grow your own then more power to you.
Bananas: Here we have an awesome fruit that has actually been proven to help improve your mood and help fight off depression. It is very rare for people to actually grow their own bananas, but like oranges, these can be bought all year round in supermarkets.
Corn: If you have the space and the time, growing your own ears of corn is very possible. Corn can be used in all kinds of stuff and it is always awesome to just chow down on a nice big ear of corn.
Other Notable Orange & Yellow Foods: Lemons, carrots, peaches, papayas, and grapefruit.
How Oranges & Yellows Help Your Body
Oranges and yellows offer some of the tastiest food on this whole list, but they also offer the body many benefits like the ones we have listed below.
- Orange and yellow fruit and veg help give your immune system a nice boost.
- They can help lower your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol.
- Your joints will thank you as orange and yellow are known to help keep your joints healthy.
Purple & Blue Fruit & Vegetables
Here we have another super team of foods and yes again, we might be cheating, but putting purple and blue together is what most people tend to do.
What Do Purple & Blue Fruit & Vegetables Contain?
Vitamin C, Flavonoids, Fibre, Zeaxanthin and Lutein
What Are Purple & Blue Fruit & Vegetables?
Berries: We are not talking the random berries that are grown in the park (no not eat those!) However many people in the UK love to grow their own berries which are good for you and can be used to make all kinds of tasty treats.
Eggplant: Ok so the eggplant looks really weird, but you can do pretty much anything you want to this. You can steam, grill, fry, bake and even use it to make things like various sauces and different kinds of soup.
Plums: Plums are very easy to grow and a plum tree makes your garden look fantastic. Also, plums offer the benefit of not just being a healthy fruit, but they also taste very nice as well.
Other Notable Purple & Blue Foods: Blueberries, prunes, raisins, grapes, and cabbage.
How Purple & Blues Help Your Body
- Fruit and veg from the purple and blue family are known to help fight inflammations.
- Your eyes, particularly your retinas will thank you for eating purple and blues.
- They help keep your gastrointestinal tract nice and healthy.
- Your immune system gets a boost from purple and blue fruit and veg.
White Fruit & Vegetables
What the heck fruit and veg are white? Maybe the first thing that pops into your mind, but these are a very important “collection” of fruit and vegetables to have in your diet.
What Do White Fruit & Vegetables Contain?
Beta-Glutens, SDG, EGCG, and Lignans
What Are White Fruit & Vegetables?
Mushrooms: Did you know that just one portabella mushroom can have more potassium than a whole banana? Well now you do and mushrooms can be pretty easy to grow yourself which is a very nice bonus.
Turnips: Turnips require a cooler climate to flourish which makes them perfect for growing here in the UK. They can be used in a variety of dishes as well.
Cauliflower: Yuck is what we can hear some of you saying. But there is a ton of things you can do with cauliflower to compliment other dishes and it is great for you as well.
Other Notable White Foods: Garlic, white onions, ginger, white peaches and white corn.
How Whites Help Your Body
- Certain white foods have been proven to help fight off strokes.
- The risk of certain cancers such as colon, breast, and prostate is reduced.
- Keeps your hormone levels in balance.
- White foods have been shown to help lower your blood pressure.
- White food will help “keep you regular” if you know what we mean!
What’s your favorite color veggie to eat? Share in the comments below!
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