Whilst nutritional therapy is all about tailoring advice for individual health needs, there are many simple strategies that everyone can adopt to make their diets healthier. ‘Eating a rainbow’ of fruits and vegetables each day is a great one!
Each day we need to be aiming to eat a fruit/vegetable that is: red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple and white/brown.
This ensures we are getting a wide range of phytonutrients (natural chemicals produced by plants which have many different health benefits). There are thousands of phytonutrients, so to make sure we consume lots we need to eat as wide a variety of foods as possible, starting with different colours.
Tip: when you are next in the supermarket, choose a random vegetable you’d never normally buy. You could even pick a different variety – if you’re a die-hard Granny Smith apple eater, why not treat yourself to a Pink Lady!
Variety is also important to keep our gut microbiome happy and healthy. Our gut microbiome consists of millions of different species of microorganisms that live in our gut (predominantly in our large intestine). Everybody’s microbiome is unique and it has a direct impact on our health. Some of its functions are: producing certain vitamins, helping digestion, supporting the immune system, supporting brain function and weight management. A healthy microbiome is one that is rich and diverse with lots of different species of microbes. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables ensures that all the different species have something to eat, making your microbiome more diverse.
There are a few ‘eat the rainbow’ charts available online to help you tick them off – Dr Chatterjee has a really nice one that is available to print from his website.