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Rainbow diet: Know the benefits for weight loss

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We are often told to eat green leafy vegetables to stay healthy and strong. That’s why including them in your diet is a great idea. But don’t ignore the fruits. According to a 2022 study published by the US National Library of Medicine, in 2017, poor vegetables and fruits intake was the cause of 3.9 million deaths worldwide. The study also mentioned that a greater variety in the types of vegetables and fruits consumed has been linked with a lower risk of diabetes, mortality and improved cognitive function. That’s where rainbow diet comes in. Your body will love it if you eat colourful foods. On the occasion of National Nutrition Week, observed from September 1 to 7 every year, let’s find out how rainbow diet helps to lose weight.

What is rainbow diet?

The rainbow diet is basically a concept that encourages people to eat a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables across the colour spectrum. The idea is that each colour has specific vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that offer unique health benefits, explains Ekta Singhwal, Dietician, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Colourful fruits and vegetables
A colourful plate has many benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are examples of some of colourful fruits and vegetables:

1. Red

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

2. Orange or yellow

• Carrots
• Sweet potatoes
• Oranges
• Mangoes
• Pineapples
• Yellow bell peppers
• Peaches
• Apricots

3. Green

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

4. Blue or purple

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

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5. White

• Cauliflower
• Mushroom
• Onion
• Garlic

Benefits of rainbow diet

Eating colourful foods means enjoying a lot of health benefits.

1. Diverse nutrient intake

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

2. Antioxidant boost

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

3. Gut health

The fiber content in colourful foods promotes a healthy gut microbiome, which supports digestion and overall wellness.

heart
Rainbow diet is good for weight loss and heart health too! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Heart health

The nutrients found in colourful foods include potassium, vitamin C and flavonoids that contribute to cardiovascular health. That means the colourful foods reduce the chances of getting a heart-related disease.

What are the health benefits of rainbow diet?

Rainbow diet can help in weight management too! Following a rainbow diet can support weight loss due to several factors:

1. Low-calorie density

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

2. Nutrient density

Colourful foods are rich in essential nutrients, and this in turn allows you to maintain good nutrition even while reducing calorie intake.

The expert says the rainbow diet is not a restrictive or specific diet plan, which needs to be followed for a week or a month. It is more of a concept that encourages people to go for a varied intake of colourful plant-based foods. So, you can adopt it as a long-term dietary approach rather than a short-term weight loss regimen.

In general, the rainbow diet is a wholesome approach suitable for most people. But those who have allergies and medical conditions related to kidney should exercise caution. Mushrooms for instance, is not accepted by everyone’s body. If all is well with you then feel free to mix and match these colourful foods to create vibrant and nutritious dishes.

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