The Rainbow Connection

When you eat in glorious, living technicolour, good health happens!
By Samantha Harrison

The 90’s were a wild and wacky time for fad diets that promised the world and delivered, well, not much. Some memorable ones included plans where you eliminated all fat (bad idea), consumed only cabbage soup (uh, gosh) or ate strictly according to your blood type (science says nope). 

True to its name, the infamous white food diet only allowed white foods. We’re talking noodles with butter, potatoes, white rice and maybe the odd glass of milk. You’ve heard of low carb? Well, this was ALL the carbs! Quirky? Yes. Nutritionally sound? Not only no but hell no! Here’s the deal! Whatever your health and wellness goals, nature’s already got you covered!

Yikes! Four out of five Aussies don’t eat enough fruit and veg to meet minimum dietary guidelines, according to a CSIRO report. People! Get busy! 

Decoding Food Colours

Go red!

Red/pink foods are rich sources of the phytochemical lycopene as well as phenolic ellagic acids, powerful antioxidants believed to have cancer fighting benefits. They’re also good for heart health and may help lower risk for high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Good news.

Check out: tomatoes, watermelon, red apples, dragonfruit, strawberries, cherries, raspberries and pomegranates. 

Go yellow and orange!

Rich in essential Vitamin C, orange and yellow foods help protect against free-radical damage by promoting healthy cell growth and aiding tissue repair. They also contain beta carotene, a carotenoid that converts to Vitamin A in the body, necessary for healthy eyes and vision.

Check out: carrots, yellow and orange capsicum, sweet potato, pumpkin, rock melon, peaches, Kakadu plums, mango, pineapple, sweet corn.   

Special shout out to citrus fruits in the yellow/orange family. Along with all-star anti-inflammatory benefits, citrus fruits contain a bioflavonoid called hesperidin which may help increase blood flow and prevent stroke. Think oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, mandarins and grapefruit. 

Go green!

Green foods, especially dark, leafy greens – check all the crazy goodness boxes. They contain a wealth of essential nutrients including Vitamin K, magnesium, B vitamins and calcium necessary for bone and blood health. They’re loaded with protective antioxidants, low in fat, high in fibre and help ward off obesity and heart disease. 

Check out: kale, broccoli, bok choy, rocket, snow peas, zucchini, cabbage, green capsicum, kiwi fruit, asparagus, green apples and grapes.  

Chew on this: 1 cup of bok choy or 1½ cups of kale contains as much calcium as a glass of milk. You gotta know this!

Go blue!

Foods in the blue/purple/deep red family are the bomb! Packed with power-house antioxidants called anthocyanins, they keep your brain healthy and provide protection against inflammation, cancer, heart disease and also stroke. 

Check out: blueberries, blackberries, dark plums, red grapes, beetroot, red onions, purple cabbage, eggplant and black olives.

Honorable mention! While technically not considered part of the ‘rainbow’, our white and brown food cousins deserve some love too. Garlic, onion, ginger, leeks, cauliflower, potatoes, white beans, mushrooms and bananas all contain good-for-you stuff. Add ‘em!


For an easy, powerful health punch, combine

1 cup baby spinach or kale, 1 medium ripe banana, 1 cup of frozen dragonfruit, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1½ cups of unsweetened almond, cashew or oat milk, and blend with ice.

Serves 2. Twist it tropical and swap dragonfruit and blueberries for pineapple and mango!

What's Trending Now

Hit enter to search or ESC to close

Don't miss a thing!

Get all our latest recipes, cooking tips and tricks, gardening ideas and all things happening in-store at Harris Farm in your inbox every week.