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The phrase “eat a rainbow” has become more popular in its reference to eating fruits and vegetables of all colors.

The first reference I heard about “eating colors” was Dr. Edwin Babbitt who wrote about color in the late 19th century. His work more specifically involved using colors to heal internal organs. Others preceded him and this work is under review to find how far back this information originates.

Another name for eating colors is the Rainbow Diet which developed a lot of guidelines that could be applied to any food plan: select organic produce; reduce refined, processed and genetically modified products.

You can plan a complete intake over three meals using colors and get the essential nutrients and dietary fiber you require.

The Red foods include tomato; guava; pink grapefruit; beets; cherries; cranberries; pomegranates; red bell peppers, and plums. The Red foods contain fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrient s called anthocyanins and licopene, antioxidants that protects against cancer.

The Orange foods include pumpkin; sweet potato; mango; apricot; carrot, and canteloupe. The Orange foods contain beta-carotene, Vitamin A’s precursor. It has a beneficial effect on the eyes, skin, and may protect against certain cancers.

The Orange/Yellow foods include papaya; passion fruit; pineapple; orange bell pepper; persimmon, and lemon. Orange foods contain are also rich in beta-carotene.

The Green foods include okra; peas; cabbage; callaloo; broccoli; kale, and herbs. Green foods contain lutein which strengthens bones and the immune system. This helps prevent cancer, heart disease and birth defects.

The Blue, Purple foods include blueberries; plums; grapes; prunes, and raisins. Blue/Purple foods contain anthycyanins which prevent memory loss, protect against cancer, stroke, heart disease, and promotes urinary health.

Brown foods include grains; nuts, and seeds and contain phytonutrients that reduce risk of some cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

White/Tan foods include garlic; ginger; onions; bok choy, and banana. White/Tan food contain anthoxanthins that lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduces probability of stomach cancer.

An easy food program of fruits and vegetables includes eating a serving in each color each day. There are so many selections you can probably avoid the foods you dislike and can be adventurous to taste those you have not tried.

I apply other things to developing a food plan. Avoid creating food allergies by eating the food once in four days, the time it takes for a food to be eliminated from the body. If you consume a food too often, you may risk developing a food allergy. Two types of allergies can develop: the acute type where the negative reactions persist for a short period of time. The other is the chronic type of allergy where the negative reaction persists for a long time. Allergic reactions can affect different parts of the body such as the digestive and respiratory systems. There could be a visible reaction on the skin. An allergic reaction could also be a noticeable or subtle change in mood and behavior.

The only way to avoid allergic reactions in chronic cases is to not consume the food again. On the other hand, if you know that you will experience a reaction when consuming a food, eat it, enjoy it as you know what to expect. I would draw the line if it is life threatening; people who are allergic to seafood, as an example, should avoid it and any food containing it. I’m referring to eating a well cooked meal that may cause a little discomfort. It will pass and the experience of eating the exquisite meal will remain.

Peter D’Adamo advanced his father’s work on blood type. I narrow the fruit and vegetable options to the blood type of the client.

All of the different combinations in colors make for an exciting way to create meals. Add to that various methods of preparation by sautéing, steamed, baking, pan frying, or as Nature intended, raw.