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  • Stacey Senior

Eat the Rainbow! Phytochemicals in Your Food

Not to be confused with the skittles catchphrase "taste the rainbow", "eat the rainbow" is a common catchphrase health practitioners use to encourage people to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables. Not only is this a great way of ensuring you get a wide range of nutrients in your diet, but the bright colours of these fruits and vegetables hint at the disease-preventing properties hidden inside, called phytochemicals.

Each of the five main colour categories (red, purple & blue, orange & yellow, green, and white) represent the different phytochemicals present in the fruit and veg. Read on below to learn more about the disease-fighting properties present in each colour!


Eat: Tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, red capsicums and cherries.

To get: Antioxidants including Vitamin C and Lycopene.

Good for: Heart health and reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

Purple & Blue

Eat: Beetroot, red cabbage, eggplant, blueberries, blackberries and plums.

To get: Antioxidants including Anthocyanin.

Good for: Brain health, protecting against cell damage, reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Orange & Yellow

Eat: Carrots, mango, apricots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and sweetcorn.

To get: Carotenoids including Betacarotene, Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

Good for: Healthy eyes and the prevention of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.


Eat: Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts.

To get: Indoles, Isothiocyanates, and Glucoraphanin (which gets converted to superstar antioxidant Sulforaphane in the body).

Good for: Reducing the risk of cancer, aiding the body's detoxification processes.


Eat: Garlic, leeks, onions, potatoes, parsnips, turnip and bananas.

To get: Potassium and the phytochemical Allicin

Good for: Healthy nerve and muscle function, and antiviral/antibacterial properties.

How many of these colours did you eat today? Make a conscious effort to include as many different coloured fruit and vegetables in your diet every day and not only will your plate be a picture of vibrance but so will you!

Until next time,

Stacey x

021 038 1787

Cambridge Health & Community Centre,
22a Taylor Street, Cambridge, New Zealand

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