As part of our “modern lifestyle”, we often choose convenience foods over home-cooked meals. Even if we decide to cook, we will choose foods that are easy to make, so we don’t have to prepare them from scratch. Most of food blogs promote recipes that have only 5 ingredients, or 3, or even less. The less the better of course as busy people have less time for meals preparation. As a consequence, we end up with eating almost the same food every day or the same combination of ingredients at every meal.
The rainbow diet is not a new concept. Gabriel Cousens introduced the rainbow diet in his book “Spiritual Nutrition and the rainbow diet” published in 1987. This amazing book is about how and what you eat that can connect your body, mind, spirit and transform your energy.
What is the rainbow diet and why?
The rainbow diet provide us with a wide variety of majority of plant-based foods and their natural colours: red, orange, yellow, green, brown, purple. The red colour will make you think of strawberries, red peppers, water melon, tomatoes, grapefruits, pomegranate, cranberries. The orange colour is orange (easy one), carrots, squash, sweet potato. Yellow is mangoes, pineapples, yellow peppers, ginger, lemons, bananas. Green is all leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kales, bok choy, Brussels sprouts. Brown is beans, lentils, rice, cacao, nuts. Purple is blueberries, blackberries, purple onions, cabbage, eggplant, prunes, plumps, black/purple rice, just to name a few.
These foods are full of the richest sources of valuable nutrients the human body needs in order to be healthy and thrive. They provide us with antioxidants, phytochemicals (plant chemicals), flavonoids, fibre, enzymes, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Eating a wide variety of plants foods also helps diversify your gut microbiome tremendously. A 2019 review noted that plant foods are rich in specific nutrients that can increase levels of beneficial bacteria and decrease harmful strains of bacteria to support gut health1. Obviously the increase of the “good” bacteria in your gut will protect you from inflammation, leaky gut, and dysbiosis.
Eating Rainbows helps your body constantly increase its ability to adapt to new foods. Remember every new plant you bring into your body offers new beneficial bacteria to your gut. This is not only strengthen your gut health but also your brain health.
From a bioenergetic perspective, colours are light at different frequencies. In the book “Restore your energy with bioenergetics” Harry Massey wrote “every frequency carries its own information to support the body’s communication system, so our best bet is to eat not only food with coherent light, but foods of many colors in order to provide a broad spectrum of light”.
Eating Rainbows will encourage you to alter and try consciously new colours or/and varieties of plants, especially those foods you saw them before but never try them. I bet you prefer red bell peppers over yellow, orange, or green ones. You are familiar with orange carrots or green broccoli, but probably have not tried yet the purple carrots or purple broccoli. You may eat white or brown rice almost everyday but still hesitate with red or black/purple rice. Let me know what surprise you when you go to your local farms or your grocery stores next time. Do you find any new colours or varieties of the same plants you ate before?
How to start your rainbow diet?
Here are a few tips to help you start.
- Go for organic whenever possible.
- Choose a package of a mix of colours and varieties. For example, choose tricolour bell peppers instead of only red bell peppers; pick wild colourful cherry tomatoes or heirloom varieties over regular red tomatoes. The same choice for tricolour quinoa, lentils, or rice.
- Choose the recipes that are easy to combine all the colourful veggies and legumes. You don’t need to stick with the recipes, use your own recreation, and adapt to the availability of what you have in the season, and/or what you have in your fridge.
- Search for frozen fruits and vegetables as well.
- Start integrating Rainbows in any meals that are easily to prepare, such as beautiful veggie platter, salads, soups, poke bowl, sauté or baking veggies.
- Give your lovely, colourful veggies/salads a good and healthy sauce or dressing to enhance the flavour.
- Stop counting the calories of every meal you have, instead counting the number of the plants and its colours.
Eating a rainbow diet doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s very fun, ask your kids to help select the colours and prepare the foods together with you. They will love it.