The Rainbow Diet encourages you to eat plenty of brightly colored vegetables each day, in order to reap the benefits of the pigments they contain. It should not be confused with the “Pro-Ana Rainbow Diet”, which involves severe calorie restriction and can cause irreparable harm to your health.
The Rainbow Diet aims to take advantage of the pigments that cause fruits and vegetables to have vibrant red, yellow, blue and green hues. These compounds often have many health giving and disease fighting properties. For example, lycopene, which is the red pigment in tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit is a potent antioxidant. Whereas anthocyanins, the blue pigment in blueberries, grapes and other blue and purple foods, can help prevent obesity, as well as aging, cancer and inflammation. Here are a few snack and meal ideas for the Rainbow Diet.
Vegetable Stir Fries
Making a stir fry is one of the easiest ways to prepare a balanced, tasty meal. Take whatever vegetables you have handy, slice them up, toss them in a wok with olive oil and serve. You can add strips of chicken or any other type of meat you like and a squirt of soy sauce or a pinch of herbs and spices to taste. Try not to cook the vegetables for too long to keep the maximum benefits.
Edible Flower Salads and Syrups
Edible flowers are increasingly being seen as a healthy addition to salads and as garnishes, and they often contain the same beneficial pigments as fruits and vegetables. For example, violets and violas contain anthocyanine and can be used as concentrated extracts in baking or in syrups, or freshly picked to brighten a spring salad.
Vegetables and Dip or Salsa
Cut up some fresh veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini or mushrooms and serve with a low-fat dip. To increase the benefits, eat them with salsa and add tomatoes and chili to your daily intake.
Melon balls are an ideal dessert as a range of melons will contain different pigments and offer different benefits. For example, watermelon is a good source of lycopene, whereas cantaloupe contains polyphenol antioxidants which may have some benefits in reducing heart disease.
Curries and Other Spiced Foods
Many herbs and spices contain the pigments that provide benefits, and also have benefits of their own. These can be added to almost any sort of meal. Dishes like curries or gingerbread can be made that are based around healthy spices like cumin and ginger.
Traditional black, green and white teas have many benefits, however herbal teas or teas with additional ingredients can also increase your intake of antioxidants. Some of the recommended teas on the Rainbow Diet are raspberry, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, jasmine and mint.
The Rainbow Diet is based around the idea that a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables will provide a wide range of health benefits. The plan also provides exotic and delicious meal options.