The Rainbow Diet
The Phytonutrient Guide by IFM
NOTE: There are 4 FREE GUIDES Here:
Natural compounds called phytonutrients or phytochemicals, are components of plants that are powerful defenders of health. Studies show that people who eat more plant foods have reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Phytonutrients provide many functions in the plant itself, such as providing protection from pests and environmental stressors, along with imparting color and distinctive tastes and smells. In the human body, phytonutrients stimulate enzymes that help the body get rid of toxins, boost the immune system, improve cardiovascular health, promote healthy estrogen metabolism, and stimulate the death of cancer cells. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of phytonutrients, along with whole grains, legumes, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, and teas.
Phytonutrients in food come in all different colors—green, yellow-orange, red, blue-purple, and white. To promote good health, it is important to eat fruits and vegetables of varied color each day. Aiming for one to two of each color per day is a healthy goal to strive for! While darker-colored plants are generally higher in phytonutrients, fruits and veggies from the white family do have beneficial contributions for promoting health. Starting with color is the first basic step to make when developing a healthy way of eating for everyone. It is foundational to all food plans within Functional Medicine, as plants are good medicine for chronic disease prevention and treatment.
Red foods contain phytonutrients that may help reduce the risk for certain cancers, along with helping to protect the brain, heart, liver, and immune system.
Red Food Compounds:
Flavones Flavonols Flavan-3-ols Flavanones
Orange foods help protect the immune system, eyes, and skin, and reduce the risk for cancer and heart disease.
Orange Food Compounds:
Yellow foods are beneficial because they contain compounds that are anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and may protect the brain, heart, blood vessels, eyes, and skin.
Yellow Food Compounds
Green foods are healthy because they contain compounds that are anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and may protect the brain, heart, blood vessels, liver, and skin. One of the unique attributes of some green foods is that because they help the liver to work better, they can also assist with keeping hormones in balance.
Green Food Compounds
Chlorogenic acid Chlorophyll
Blue/purple/black foods from nature are healthy because they contain compounds that are anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and may protect the brain, heart, and blood vessels. It is interesting to note that out of all the colors, this is the category that many people eat the least from on a daily basis. Unfortunately, too little blue/purple is not healthy since these compounds are especially used for the brain, protecting it from damage and promoting healthy cognition and memory.
Blue/Purple/Black Food Compounds
When thinking of white/tan/brown foods, processed foods may come to mind – foods like bagels, cereals, breads, pastas, cakes, cookies, and crackers. Those foods are not the kind to focus on in the white/tan/brown category
of plant foods. Instead, this category includes nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes, spices, seeds, and whole grains that are beneficial to health. In fact, healthy white/tan/brown foods have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity. Additionally, what makes this class of compounds special is that like the green foods, there are certain compounds that can assist with liver and hormone health.
White/Tan/Brown Food Compounds
Phytonutrients: What Are They and Why Should You Eat Them?
Phytonutrients (phyto = plant) refers to thousands of different, healthful, non-nutritive compounds in plants. These compounds are referred to as “non-nutritive” because they do not supply calories like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Phytonutrients have other benefits like changing the structure and function of cells. Certain phytonutrients can radically change how the liver metabolizes toxins, whereas other phytonutrients, like those found in blueberries, play a role in specific areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory. People who eat more plant foods tend to have lower rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and other chronic health conditions.
How Can I Get More Phytonutrients in My Diet?
Start by observing your meals and colors eaten each day. Gradually shift to eating a broader spectrum and more color variety whenever possible. It is common to get stuck in a rut of eating the same foods over and over again. May people eat the standard processed food colors of brown, yellow, and white, which may include fried, baked, and/or grilled foods which are inflammatory. It has been estimated that 80% of people are missing one or more phytonutrient colors. Eating the full seven colors every day with a variety of foods is a good goal to start.