When you were a kid, did your mom ever tell you that eating carrots would give you superhero vision? Well, she may have been exaggerating a bit, but snacking on orange (and yellow) vegetables and fruits can indeed help you see better, thanks to all the vitamin A they contain.
In fact, eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies offers a wide range of health benefits. That's because they house a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals—not to mention fiber. (Not sure what antioxidants and phytochemicals do? Basically, antioxidants work to fight cellular damage, while phytochemicals can help stimulate immune function, improve heart health, and reduce inflammation.) In other words, there's a lot of goodness packaged in pretty, colorful plants!
How to Grow a Rainbow of Delicious Food
Growing a garden full of colorful vegetables, fruits, and herbs offers the perfect way to bring this healthy rainbow right to your plate. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that almost 90 percent of Americans don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. By growing your own food, it's easy to be part of the 10 percent who do!
Bonnie Plants® can help you do that. With more than a 100 years of experience growing plants for home gardeners, Bonnie offers an incredible variety of vegetables and herbs in almost all the colors of the rainbow. You can find your nearest Bonnie retailer by searching here.
When you're selecting plants for your garden, consider choosing plants from each color category, as each one offers unique benefits for your health.
Red fruits and veggies contain phytochemicals like ellagic acid and lycopene, both known to help fight cancer. To make sure you're getting a daily dose of red fruits and veggies, consider adding the following plants to your garden:
Orange & Yellow
Orange and yellow fruits and veggies contain vitamin C, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease, and carotenoids (including beta carotene), which help guard against eye disease. Plus, both are thought to help prevent cancer. Add these yellow and orange fruits and vegetables to your garden and menu:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- Golden beets
- Yellow and orange peppers
- Citrus fruits
- Yellow summer squash
Filled with chlorophyll, fresh green produce is high in essential vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin K, not to mention antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer. What's more, green fruits and vegetables can help reduce high blood pressure and protect cardiovascular health. Fiber found in green fruits and veggies helps make you feel full, reducing the urge to overeat. Grow and include the following green foods in your diet:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
- Mustard greens
- Beet greens
Purple, Blue, and Dark Red
Many of these dark-colored, rich-looking foods are filled with antioxidants known as anthocyanins that may help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia. Add purple power with plants like:
- Purple basil
- Purple or red cabbage
- Black currants
- Black raspberries
- Purple carrots
- Black, purple, or red grapes
- Purple cauliflower
Once you've chosen the plants for your rainbow garden, it's time to plant. The five key elements you need for growing success are a sunny spot, premium quality soil (think Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics™ All Purpose In-Ground Soil for traditional garden beds or Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics™ All Purpose Container Mix for pots), strong young plants (look for the Bonnie Plants® logo!), regular watering, and nutrient-rich plant food (like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics™ All Purpose Plant Nutrition). For more info on planting and growing your garden, check out Organic Gardening for Beginners or How to Plant a Garden.Growing produce in a wide range of colors is a perfect way to add beauty to your garden—and amazingly fresh, nutrient-rich foods to your dinner plate. Bonus: Unlike the fleeting, multihued arches you occasionally spy in the sky, this is one rainbow you can enjoy every single day.