Eat the Rainbow: A Look at Health and Wellness
In 2005, Dan Buettner published an article titled “Secrets of Living Longer” for National Geographic. This well-researched article was a finalist for the National Magazine Award—and Buettner later wrote a book titled The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.
Although lifespans can’t be predicted with certainty, here is Buettner’s sage advice, boiled down to one sentence: “Eat your vegetables, have a positive outlook, be kind to people, and smile.”
Before we continue, we’d like to bring up an important point that isn’t discussed enough: eating your vegetables is a time tested and research proven way to benefit from vitamins and minerals—but all carrots, as just one example, are not alike. Those that are grown in healthy soil are, naturally enough, more nutrient rich that those grown in depleted soil.
Although this has long been known through common sense, we now have scientific evidence. Here are agricultural research results that show how incredibly mineral rich our regenerately farmed fresh vegetables really are.
As just two examples, after comparing the mineral content of kale varieties from our farm to USDA baseline nutrient density results, our kales exceed USDA numbers for numerous minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. Our fresh carrots, meanwhile, exceed carotene levels by significant amounts.
Talking to Experts
Health professionals from around the world promote the value of eating vegetables —and enjoying them in a beautiful spectrum of colors can provide people with added benefits.
We recently communicated with Dr. Gan Eng Cern about this concept, and he concurs that eating the rainbow in the form of fruits and vegetables provides our bodies with a wide range of nutrients and a “myriad of health benefits that will elevate our wellbeing. The nutrients and vitamins that plants manufacture on their own are what our bodies exactly need—and this ensures that they will be potent in improving, protecting, repairing, cleansing, and enhancing our bodies.”
Dr. Gan is a physician and an ear, nose and throat surgeon, a member of the Royal College of Surgeons at Edinburgh, United Kingdom with Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
It’s his belief that “our modern world has compelled us all to practice a lifestyle that values convenience more than what’s actually worth it. This is true in our eating habits, which is why the fast-food industry is booming. We ask a lot from our bodies on a daily basis and it’s only right that we support and give back by sustaining them with a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables. This way, our bodies can continue to efficiently work in every way we demand them to, so we can keep up with our fast-paced modern lifestyles.”
Meanwhile, registered dietician and culinary nutrition specialist Lexi Endicott points out a key benefit of eating the rainbow: it’s a very simple way to get plenty of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients without having to be a nutritional expert yourself.
“I’ll suggest to clients that, in every meal, they have at least three colors,” she says, “when considering vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. If they can push that up to five, that’s even better.”
She is a true fan of the plant-forward diet and encourages people to eat more of a plant-based one. “Studies repeatedly show,” Endicott says, “that this promotes health and longevity. This can include the ingredients you bake into muffins, whirl into smoothies, or dice into spaghetti sauce.”
Endicott also encourages her clients to find the ways that they enjoy eating vegetables the most—and then enjoy them to the fullest. “For me,” she says, “my favorite method is to roast vegetables because I love how that brings out their natural sweetness.”
Registered dietician, nutritionist, and certified diabetes care and education specialist Jana Mowrer suggests that you allow pictures of rainbows to inspire you to eat a variety of vegetables.
“Green is great,” she agrees—and you know how much we love green vegetables at the farm! —but “different colors of vegetables have different vitamins and antioxidants, so covering the rainbow means you get the full array of vitamins. Each color also supports the health of different organ systems. For example, foods that are blue are very helpful in protecting our heart as well as high in antioxidants that support skin health. Orange foods provide antioxidants and beta-carotenes, which support eye health. Red vegetables with their lycopenes can help us fight off infections and support our hearts, too. Eating a variety of colors keeps us from missing out on important nutrients.”
More “Eat the Rainbow” Resources
Harvard Health Publishing from the Harvard Medical School suggests that you “paint your plate with the colors of the rainbow.” As another piece of advice, they suggest that you “Ask a farmer for fresh ideas on how to prepare fruits and vegetables that are new to you.” Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of insights! Here are excellent recipes, too, including our newest: Roasted Brussels Sprouts Harvest Mix.
The American Heart Association, meanwhile, shares that Mom was right when she told you to eat your peas and carrots, and suggests that you designate certain days as Red/Green/Orange ones.
Vegetables can be mixed in with “pasta sauces, lasagnas, casseroles, soups and omelets,” and their advice dovetails with Endicott’s: roasting vegetables is a delicious technique, including with “cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, tomatoes or eggplant.”
If you’ve got a favorite low-fat dip, fresh vegetables they suggest pairing up with that dip include “bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and celery.”
Mineral-Rich, Farm-Fresh Vegetables
You can have fresh vegetables that are bursting with flavor and nutrition delivered directly to your front door, a true farm-to-table experience. To get started, we recommend the Best of the Season Box. Depending upon the season, our farmer’s market delivery box may contain a mix of fresh lettuce and greens, a mix of root crop, potatoes, cruciferous, sweet potatoes, and the best micro greens and herbs. (Seasonal favorites added when available!)
When you set this up as a subscription, you benefit from a discount on the price, while still getting the maximum in flavor and nutrition. Plus, here are other options for your fresh vegetable home delivery—and, no matter what time of the year it is, sending friends and family our vegetables shows how much you really care.