The rainbow or color diet is a new dietary approach to a plant-based regimen that focuses on the consumption of foods according to their color.
According to Chiara Boscaro, a biologist and nutritionist at the San Siro Clinical Institute in Milan, the rainbow diet is subdivided into five categories, depending on color.
These are white, red, yellow or orange, green, and blue or purple, and only foods of vegetable origin, fruits, or vegetables, although legumes and seeds are also included.
Why does each food have a color?
The rainbow diet classifies each food depending on its color to create a macro group that corresponds to the valuable nutrients of each food.
This is to maximize the benefits of each food and ensure a healthier life.
“Tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon and, in general, all red-colored plant foods are rich in carotenoids and antioxidants, valuable allies against free radicals.”
“But that’s not all,” explains the expert, “they are also foods that help reduce the risk of cancer.”
Yellow and orange foods
“To this group belong all foods containing beta-carotene”, which Dr. Boscaro classifies in foods rich in vitamins such as A, B, C and flavonoids.
These are useful for improving the immune system, as well as caring for the health of the skin and eyesight, and include foods such as peaches, loquats, and melons.
Tangerines and pumpkins also fall into this subgroup and are known to have diuretic benefits for combating fluid retention.
“This is another very important color for health,” the expert points out, “because it indicates the presence of anthocyanins, or flavonoids very common in the plant world that thanks to their chemical structure are strong antioxidants.”
“Foods in this category are great allies for purification and also guarantee an anti-aging effect. At the circulatory level they also favor the venous walls, among other things.”
“They are also foods with a relaxing effect because they help the production of serotonin and melatonin. This group includes red and black grapes, berries, blueberries, cranberries, plums, and acai berries.
“It is the food group that contains the most chlorophyll and reflects the presence of folic acid and iron,” continues the nutritionist.
“So much so that people who are pregnant or suffer from anemia are advised to consume this type of vegetables. Spinach, cucumbers, kiwi, pumpkins, but also matcha tea, spirulina, broccoli and parsley belong to this macro category.”
“And don’t forget that green leafy vegetables are very rich in fiber and therefore also very useful for regulating satiety during the day.”
“Finally, fennel, onion, garlic, cauliflower, leek, and celery are white. These foods have a coloration that reflects the content of polyphenols, flavonoids and sulfur compounds, the latter also responsible for the pungent odor that characterizes some of these foods,” explains Dr. Boscaro.
“This chromatic vegetable category has the particularity of favoring circulation, blood pressure and digestion, and of possessing depurative and cholesterol-regulating properties.”
Should you consume a rainbow diet?
Is this type of diet beneficial for maximizing the benefits of each food according to its color?
“It is essential to try to alternate these foods, preferring to consume them raw to better preserve their nutritional properties,” explains the nutrition expert.
“Therefore, avoid overcooking or prefer steaming. It is also important to use extra virgin olive oil to better absorb the fat-soluble vitamins. Although we tend to ignore it, in fact, vitamins A, D, E and K are better absorbed when combined with extra virgin olive oil.”
Another point to keep in mind about this type of diet is that it is not focused on weight loss, but rather on improving nutrient intake in the body.”It is a qualitative diet,” Dr. Boscaro concludes.”In the sense that being able to alternate the five colors in the right way allows you to stock up vitamins and minerals and thus promote the full well-being of the organism, you should always include the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats in your diet.
“If you want to follow a hypocaloric diet to lose weight, the quantities will make the difference” he concluded.
With information from Vanity Fair Italia