Healthy Diet Plans 5 MIN READ 128 VIEWS March 8, 2023

Did Your Nutritionist Advise You to Eat the Rainbow? Here’s What They Mean

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Eat the Rainbow

Have you ever heard a nutritionist say “eat the rainbow”? While this is common medical advice, what eating the rainbow implicates remains a mystery for many. Read through to know why you should eat the rainbow and what makes up for a perfect rainbow diet.

What is a Rainbow Diet?

Rainbow diet is the term coined by Dr. DeAnna Minich who found that different colours of food help take care of seven systems of the body, namely, adrenals, digestive system, heart, thyroid, reproductive glands, pituitary gland, and pineal gland. She found that each colour of food helped nourish the system of the same colour.

Just like the rainbow comprises seven colours, food items also offer the entire spectrum. It’s the pigments or phytonutrients that give plants their unique colour. These pigments are also responsible for specific nutrients and health benefits associated with each food. Thus, the idea to eat the rainbow chart ensures that the body gets enough nourishment for all systems and overall health.

Benefits of Eating the Rainbow

Simply put, eating the rainbow means that you are eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables every day.

Here’s how eating the different coloured pigments help the body:

  • Promotes heart health
  • Reduces risk of stroke
  • Prevents cancer
  • Builds immunity
  • Improves brain power
  • Reduces body inflammation
  • Slows down age-related decline
  • Improves eye health
  • Promotes skin and hair health
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces blood pressure

What Do Different Colours of Rainbow Diet Bring to Your Plate?

By adding a rich diversity of foods to your diet, the body receives an array of nutrients, minerals, and phytochemicals that benefit the body. Here’s what each colour has to offer:

1. Red

What do foods like tomatoes, carrots, cherries, strawberries, red onions, and red bell peppers have in common? Their bright red colour! Lycopene, ellagic acid, anthocyanins, and betalains are pigments that give them their bright red colour. These pigments have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which improve heart health, are anti-ageing, and reduce the risk of several types of cancers. These foods are exceptionally rich in Vitamin A.

2. Orange and Yellow

The orange and yellow colours in fruits and vegetables are due to carotenoids and flavonoids, which are important for eye health and improved skin health. Their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties reduce organ inflammation and neutralise the harmful effect of free radicals. They improve heart health, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the risk of several cancers. These foods are exceptionally rich in Vitamin C which is both a nutrient and antioxidant. Good sources of orange and yellow foods to add to the rainbow diet are orange, mango, papaya, sweet corn, banana, etc.

3. Green

Green fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of chlorophyll, isoflavones, and isothiocyanates. These naturally occurring molecules in cruciferous vegetables reduce the activity of carcinogens by increasing detoxification. These foods are rich in vitamin K, potassium, fibre, folic acid, and antioxidants with high anti-inflammatory properties. Good sources include broccoli, kale, cabbage, green apples, kiwi fruit, cucumber, etc.

4. Blue and Purple

Blue and purple foods are rich in anthocyanins and resveratrol. Research shows that these molecules have high anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties. Furthermore, these bioactive phytochemicals actively work to repair damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. They also help to boost brain power and keep blood pressure levels in control. Good sources include blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, purple cauliflower, prunes, etc.

5. White and Brown

Brown and white foods do not contain any pigment, hence they lack a colour. But these contain high quantities of flavonoids and allicin, which are known for their anti-cancer properties. These foods also help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of stomach cancer. These foods have high anti-microbial properties which have immune-boosting effects. They are vital for bone health. Important foods include onions, mushrooms, leeks, cauliflower, and garlic.

Tips to Eat the Rainbow Every Day

Eating a colourful platter of food each day is the key to a balanced diet and good health. Here are a few tips that will help you eat the rainbow:

1. Start with a Colourful Breakfast

Instead of keeping it quick, simple, and colourless, spend a little time decorating your breakfast plate. Start your day with fruit-topped oatmeal porridge, a green smoothie, or scrambled eggs with red peppers, capsicum, carrots, onions, coriander, and other add-ons.

2. Eat Your Salad

A large bowl of colourful raw veggies and fresh fruits can be a great way to incorporate maximum colours into your diet. You can eat them as in-between snacks, an appetiser, or a main meal. It not only provides amazing amounts of nutrients but also helps you keep a tab on your calorie intake. Also, as cooking reduces nutritional value, a bowl of salad once a day ensures optimum nutrition.

3. Include Soup to Your Diet

Adding different vegetables while cooking soup broth is a great way to eat the rainbow. Simmering a variety of colourful vegetables over low flame for a short time promises ample rainbow nutrition.

4. Keep Changing

Every time you go grocery shopping, rather than purchasing the same veggies every time, try different foods in the same colour category. Swapping and changing foods regularly will not just widen your range of options but also increase the micronutrient content.

5. Top It Up

Every colour counts, even though it’s not being used the way it should be. So, cut, slice, chop, or puree some vegetables and top it up on your routine delights.

6. Make Delicious Desserts

Fresh fruits can make up a delicious dessert. So, avoid those high-calorie, extra-sweet cakes and cookies and bite on a few juicy fresh fruits for desserts. You can also add fresh fruits to a bowl of yoghurt or low-fat cream to make a yummy rainbow delight.

7. Prepare Your Own Dip

Skip the commercially processed tomato ketchup. Instead, prepare healthy dips like salsa, French onion dip, spinach artichoke dip, or hummus as a condiment. They will not just add a whole lot of flavour to your meal but also make up an easy way to add rainbow colours to your diet.

8. Stock Up in Freezer

To keep your stock of colourful fruits and vegetables always ready, stock them in the freezer. This will help you enjoy your rainbow diet every day. This also helps you add more colours to any meal without much thought and preparation.

Foods to Avoid in a Rainbow Diet

Eating a rainbow implies eating different coloured foods to get maximum benefits and nutrition from plant-based foods. Therefore, some foods do not form a part of the rainbow diet. These are:

  • Processed foods
  • Canned foods with added salt or sugar
  • Artificial colours
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Mocktails and energy drinks
  • Added salt and sugar


Phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemicals/substances which confer the unique colour, smell, and taste of each plant. They are also responsible for the health benefits that the veggies and fruits are known for. Furthermore, research suggests that the human body is made up of seven systems – each food colour takes care of the nourishment of its respective system. Thus, the term ‘eat the rainbow’ was coined. The rainbow diet is not just a balanced diet but also ensures that each body system gets adequate nutrition and nourishment to function well and remain healthy. This can be done easily by eating a variety of colourful plant-based foods each day.

Frequently Asked Questions About Eat The Rainbow Diet

A bowl of salad, adding colourful veggies to your soup, or topping your oatmeal breakfast with lots of fresh fruits and nuts – all are great ways to eat the rainbow.

To eat the rainbow means to add different colours of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Phytochemicals are pigments which give a unique colour to each plant. It is also responsible for its nutritional value. Therefore, a rainbow diet ensures that the body gets maximum nutrition from different colours.

Yes, it is important to eat the rainbow. The rainbow diet ensures that the body benefits from a wide range of vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables every day.

A rainbow diet is recommended for both kids and adults. To ensure that kids do not develop nutritional deficiencies, it is important to eat the rainbow. Eating a large variety of colourful fruits and vegetables every day ensures that kids benefit from a wide range of vitamins and minerals as no single fruit or vegetable can provide all the nutrients that the human body requires.

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