Rainbow diet: know the benefits for weight loss

We are often told to eat green leafy vegetables to stay healthy and strong. This is why including them in your diet is a great idea. But don’t ignore fruit. According to a 2022 study published by the US National Library of Medicine, in 2017 poor consumption of vegetables and fruits was responsible for 3.9 million deaths worldwide. The study also mentions that a greater variety in the types of vegetables and fruits consumed was associated with a lower risk of diabetes, mortality and improved cognitive function. This is where the Rainbow Diet comes in. Your body will love it if you eat colorful foods. On the occasion of National Nutrition Week, celebrated from September 1 to 7 each year, let’s find out how the Rainbow Diet helps with weight loss.

What is the rainbow diet?

The Rainbow Diet is basically a concept that encourages people to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables across the color spectrum. The idea is that each color contains specific vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that provide unique health benefits, says Ekta Singhwal, dietitian at Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.

A colorful plate has many advantages. Image provided by: Shutterstock

Here are examples of colorful fruits and vegetables:

1. Red

• Tomatoes
• Red peppers
• Strawberries
• Cherries
• Watermelon
• Red apples
• Red grapes
• Pomegranates

2. Orange or yellow

• Carrots
• Sweet potatoes
• Oranges
• Mangoes
• Pineapple
• Yellow peppers
• Peaches
• Apricots

3. Green

• Spinach
• Broccoli
• Kale
• Zucchini
• Green peas
• Lawyer
• Green beans
• Kiwi

4. Blue or purple

• Blueberries
• Blackberries
• Purple grapes
• Eggplant
• Red cabbage
• Raisins

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5. White

• Cauliflower
• Mushroom
• Onion
• Garlic

Benefits of the Rainbow Diet

Eating colorful foods provides many health benefits.

1. Diversified nutrient intake

Different colors in fruits and vegetables indicate varying nutrient profiles. Consuming a wide range of colors ensures that you receive a broad spectrum of essential nutrients.

2. Antioxidant Boost

Each color group contains specific antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress and inflammation, reducing the risk of chronic disease, the expert tells Health Shots.

3. Gut health

The fiber content of colorful foods promotes a healthy gut microbiome, which supports digestion and overall well-being.

The Rainbow Diet is also good for weight loss and heart health! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Heart health

Nutrients found in colorful foods include potassium, vitamin C, and flavonoids that contribute to cardiovascular health. This means that colorful foods reduce the risk of getting heart disease.

What are the health benefits of the rainbow diet?

The Rainbow Diet can also help with weight management! Following a rainbow diet can promote weight loss due to several factors:

1. Low calorie density

Many colorful fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, but high in fiber and water. This helps you feel full and satisfied while consuming fewer calories, Singhwal notes.

2. Nutrient density

Colorful foods are rich in essential nutrients, allowing you to maintain good nutrition while reducing your calorie intake.

The expert claims that the rainbow diet is not a restrictive or specific diet, which must be followed for a week or a month. Rather, it is a concept that encourages people to eat varied and colorful plant-based foods. So you can adopt it as a long-term dietary approach rather than a short-term weight loss regime.

In general, the Rainbow Diet is a healthy approach that works for most people. But those with allergies and kidney-related medical issues should exercise caution. Mushrooms, for example, are not accepted by everyone. If all is well with you, feel free to mix and match these colorful foods to create vibrant and nutritious dishes.

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