Most Americans & Canadians Arent Getting the Range of Colorful Foods They Need
According to a 2009 phytonutrients report (based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys), 8 out of 10 people in the US are falling short in virtually every color category of phytonutrients.
69% of Americans are falling short in green phytonutrients
78% of Americans are falling short in red phytonutrients
86% of Americans are falling short in white phytonutrients
88% of Americans are falling short in purple and blue phytonutrients
79% of Americans are falling short in yellow and orange phytonutrients
Now, lets take a look at what the color of your food can tell you about its nutrition and at how you can get more of the colorful range of phytonutrients to help your body function at its best.
Red Fruits and Vegetables Help Fight Cancer, Reduce the Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease, Improve Skin Quality, and More
red bell peppers
Red fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, including lycopene and ellagic acid. These powerful nutrients have been studied for their cancer-fighting effects and other health benefits.
For example, a daily dose of tomato sauce has been found to reverse the progression of prostate cancer. Watermelon is even higher in lycopene than tomatoes, and the lycopene may be more bioavailable.
Watermelon is also rich in a phytonutrient called citrulline, which may work as a treatment for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.
Also, strawberries have been found to prevent and even reverse esophageal cancer.
Getting your phytonutrients from whole foods is best. In fact, taking phytonutrients, like lycopene and beta-carotene, in supplement form because may increase the risk of cancer. But consuming these phytonutrients in whole-food form, like tomato sauce, has been found to decrease the risk of cancer.
Examples of Healthy Red Foods to Try
Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables Improve Immune Function, Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Promote Eye Health, and More
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth.
Citrus fruits contain a unique phytonutrient called hesperidin, which helps to increase blood flow. This has important health ramifications. If you tend to get cold hands and feet, eating an orange a day may help keep your hands and feet warm. More importantly, consuming citrus may also reduce your risk of stroke.
Examples of Healthy Orange and Yellow Foods to Try
Winter squash (butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn)
Yellow summer squash
Orange and yellow peppers
Green Fruits and Vegetables Boost the Immune System, Help Detoxify the Body, Restore Energy and Vitality, and More
avocado, limes, and other green foods
Greens are one of healthiest foods we can eat. Green fruits and vegetables are rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K which is essential for blood and bone health.
In addition, green vegetables are rich in folate a nutrient especially important for pregnant women to consume to help prevent congenital disabilities.
Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, have been shown to enhance immune function, while dark leafy greens like kale may improve mood.
Kiwi fruit has been shown to help alleviate a wide array of maladies, from the common cold to IBS to insomnia, and may even help repair DNA damage.
Examples of Healthy Green Foods to Try
Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables Fight Cancer and Unwanted Inflammation and Help Keep You Young
eggplant in a basket
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and resveratrol, and have been studied extensively for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.
Studies show that the bioactive phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation.
Red cabbage, which is purple, is one of the best superfood bargains and has the highest level of antioxidants per dollar.
Examples of Healthy Blue and Purple Foods to Try
Red (purple) grapes
Red (purple) cabbage
White and Brown Fruits and Vegetables Protect Against Certain Cancers, Keep Bones Strong, and Are A Heart-Healthy Choice
White and brown produce may not be as brightly colored as other foods, but they still are a healthy choice and have phytonutrients.
Like broccoli, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable rich in an anti-cancer compound called sulforaphane. Garlic and onions are in the allium family of vegetables and contain the powerful cancer-fighting compounds allicin and quercetin.
And phytonutrients in white button mushrooms have been found to inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation.
Examples of Healthy White and Brown Foods to Try
Browse our illustrative guide to each food colour and discover the health benefits for including them in your daily diet.
Produced by Swissotel Hotels & Resorts
Tips to Help You Eat the Rainbow Every Day
Yes, eating a variety of colorful foods is good for your health. But how do you make that happen?
Use these tips to create more colorful meals:
Eat a beautiful breakfast. Instead of boring bagels, eggs, or yogurt, start your day with a green smoothie, oatmeal topped with red berries, or a scramble filled with red peppers, mushrooms, carrots, or other colorful veggies.
Enjoy exciting salads. Large, colorful salads are the perfect way to incorporate lots of colorful veggies (and fruits!) into your diet. Eat them for lunch or dinner. And try to have at least one per day.
Liven up your lunch. Veggie sandwiches and wraps (including lettuce wraps) and soups, stews, and chili can help your get a balanced selection of colorful foods for lunch.
Make vegetables the main dish. Try new recipes for dishes, such as tempeh vegetable stir-fries, vegetable curries, and Buddha bowls.
Make a rainbow meal. Try creating a meal that uses every color red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, and brown. (If you have kids, they may love this idea.)
Recipe Ideas to Inspire You to Add Color and Variety to Your Meals
Here are some colorful recipes to help you eat the rainbow.
Favorite Overnight Oats from Heavenlynn Healthy
bowl of oats, strawberries, and blueberries
Pink and Purple Detox Salad from Maria Marlowe
bowl of green and purple salad
Rad Raw Rainbow Pad Thai by Angela Lidden at Oh She Glows
bowl of pad thai
The dressing in this pad thai uses some sweetener and oil, which can be left out or replaced.
Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with Garlic Roasted Chickpeas and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce by Emily Honeycutt at Deliciously Green!
bowl of quinoa
How to Learn to Love Vegetables and Fruits
If you grew up eating only a few fruits and vegetables, you might not have developed an appreciation for produce. But dont worry. You can retrain your taste buds to love broccoli, kale, and beets!
Heres what you can do for yourself and for kids:
Step 1: Avoid processed food with lots of meat, cheese, salt, and sugar. These foods overstimulate your taste buds and put you into the Pleasure Trap, making fresh fruits and vegetables taste boring in comparison.
Step 2: Try new vegetables and fruits over and over again in different ways. It can take up to 12-18 tastes to acquire a taste for a new food. So, if you once hated arugula or mushrooms, thats okay. Try again in a different recipe. You might surprise yourself.
How Do You Eat the Rainbow?
We want to hear from you.
What did you learn from this article?
What questions do you have?
What steps will you take to add more colorful fruits and vegetables to your life?
Our modern world is a difficult place to maintain a healthful balance. Ginger is, hands down, one of the most broadly therapeutic and familiar plant allies available to us to prevent and even reverse a wide range of ailments, with the science supporting its safety and efficacy one of the most robust.
Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is a powerful medicinal herb that has been used for centuries to keep mankind in balance. Rich in bioactive terpenes, ginger belongs to the same powerhouse plant family, Zingiberaceae, as turmeric and cardamom.
Ginger became prized by herbalists around the world during the days of the early spice trade, when it was first exported from India and Southern Asia into Europe.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda consider ginger to be warming to the system, thus stimulating to the digestive fire.
Traditional uses reflect this understanding of gingers powerful healing properties: its known for relieving nausea, aiding digestion, soothing cramps, and improving circulation. Ginger also possesses potent detoxifying properties, stimulating elimination via bowel release and perspiration.
If the benefits of ginger stopped there, it would be a miracle plant food worthy of daily consumption. But modern science has not only validated gingers traditional uses, it has put ginger into an elite superfood category where the lines between food and medicine become blurred.
Sure, ginger can keep your tummy happily humming along. But did you know it may also help prevent you from falling prey to some of the worst health conditions plaguing people today?
A Remedy for What Ails You
With nearly 3,000 years of documented use and almost as many scientific abstracts on gingers effectiveness, it can be difficult to narrow down gingers five most powerful health benefits.
One approach is to cross-reference gingers healing properties with the worst disease threats in our world today. The World Health Organization, whose stated mission is to combat diseases around the world, publishes annual statistics on the top ten causes of death, worldwide.  In 2017, there are five diseases on the list for which ginger has been shown to provide significant benefit:
Lets examine the most impactful scientific research that has been conducted on ginger in recent years, to see how ginger can be applied therapeutically and proactively to ward-off and treat disease.
Ginger: A Natural Treatment for Heart Disease
Ginger helps the heart in a myriad of ways. Studies have verified gingers potent ability to lower blood pressure, also referred to as cardiodepressant activity.
Researchers have identified gingers significant intrinsic activity on smooth muscle of the heart, which was observed by researchers exploring gingers traditional uses for cardiopathy, high blood pressure, palpitations. and as a vasodilator to improve circulation. 
An eye-opening 2016 animal study demonstrated the powerful cardioprotective properties of ginger as it relates to damage already done to the heart, in this case by diabetes. Researchers unequivocally concluded that ginger extract significantly reduces heart structural abnormalities in diabetic rats. 
A 2017 cross-sectional study titled, Evaluation of daily ginger consumption for the prevention of chronic diseases in adults, examined whether daily ginger consumption as well as how much ginger impacted the symptoms of chronic diseases like hypertension and coronary heart disease, or CHD. Results showed that daily ginger consumption was associated with decreased risk for hypertension and CHD, with the probability for both illnesses decreasing when the amount of daily ginger intake increased. 
A September 2017 scientific review examined ginger and several other therapeutic herbs and spices for evidence of antioxidant activity, and impact on human health. Ginger and garlic were determined to have extensively therapeutic effectsespecially for cardiovascular diseases. Gingers anti-carcinogenic properties were also noted in this study. 
Ginger: A Natural Treatment for Stroke
Described as a brain attack, cerebral apoplexy, otherwise known as stroke, occurs when one or more areas of the brain are damaged due to oxygen deprivation.  The fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, gingers usefulness for stroke lies in its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In 2006, a human study was conducted on eighty-two adults suffering stroke-induced brain damage which brought on urination disorders due to flaccid or spastic bladder. Moxibustion treatment, a type of heat therapy where materials are warmed and placed on or near the skin, using ginger and salt was applied to the treatment group five times each week.
After three weeks, numerous factors improved for the treatment group which were not observed in the control group, including less frequent urination, less urgency to urinate, and decreased incontinence. Researchers concluded that ginger-salt-partitioned moxibustion is a safe and effective therapy for urination disorders post-stroke.
A study released in October 2016 examined one of the active constituents of ginger known as 6-Shogaol, an isolate known to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Oxidative stress and inflammation are closely associated with restricted blood supply, a primary factor of stroke, and can eventually result in brain cell death.
Conversely, substances that are antioxidant and reduce inflammation are potentially therapeutic for disorders of the brain and central nervous system. This studys aim was to evaluate if daily, oral doses of 6-shogaol exerts neuroprotective activity in mice.
After seven days, researchers observed that mice fed 6-shogaol demonstrated significantly reduced neurological deficit scores as well as a reduced mean infarct area, indicating a return of healthy blood flow to the brain. Improved behavioral deficits were also observed, and inflammatory markers in the brain were reduced. Researchers concluded that 6-shogaol can improve outcomes of stroke-induced brain damage, and has demonstrated benefit as a potential preventative of stroke. 
Ginger: A Natural Treatment for Cancer
With over 420 PubMed abstracts on gingers usefulness for cancer, science has clearly corroborated the chemoprotective properties of this amazing herbal medicine.
Some of the most promising studies include an October 2015 study exploring the potential to synthesize effective anticancer drugs from gingers active constituents. Once again, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of 6-shogaol were highlighted as presenting a promising opportunity to identify novel anticancer compounds originating from ginger. 
Another landmark study on gingers potential benefits for cancer sufferers found that ginger is 10,000 times stronger than the chemotherapy drug Taxol. This study determined that 6-shogaol was more effective than chemo at targeting the root cause of breast cancer malignancy, namely, the stem cells or mother cells that are responsible for spawning daughter cells that make-up the tumor colony.
The contrast in gingers effectiveness as compared to Taxol was staggering. Per the researchers: Taxoldid not show activity against the [cancer cells] even at 10,000-fold higher concentration compared to 6-shogaol. 
6-shogaol isnt the only bioactive constituent in ginger that cancer researchers are excited about. 6-Gingerol has also been reported to exert antitumor activities. A 2014 study of 6-gingerol and its effect on cancer cells, found that it was extensively metabolized by both human and animal cancer cells, where it had a cytotoxic effect, inhibiting cancer cell growth, and contributing to the death of cells.
Further studies confirm that while these active elements in ginger are toxic to cancer cells, they have no negative effect on healthy cells, a far superior effect than toxic chemotherapy drugs.  Multiple studies on gingers antiemetic properties have found that ginger provides further therapeutic benefit to cancer patients by helping to ease the nausea often associated with traditional cancer treatments. , 
Ginger: A Natural Treatment for Diabetes
A great amount of focus has been paid to gingers ability to normalize digestive processes, such as soothing nausea and stimulating digestive fluids. With half-a-billion people at risk for Type-2 diabetes, a less well-known but vitally important superpower is gingers ability to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar.
A 2014 study on glycemic status, lipids, and inflammatory markers examined seventy, Type-2 diabetes patients, with half the group consuming 1600 mg ginger versus placebo group. Results showed that ginger significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and total cholesterol, as compared with placebo group, and can be considered as an effective treatment for prevention of complications from diabetes. 
Another 2014 study sought to identify the effect of ginger supplementation on insulin resistance and glycemic indices in diabetes mellitus. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 88 diabetic participants were randomly assigned into ginger and placebo groups, powdered ginger was given three times per day in 1-gram capsules for eight weeks. The dramatic results showed that fasting blood sugar mean average of the ginger group decreased 10.5%, whereas the mean blood sugar of placebo group had an increase of 21%. 
Numerous studies support gingers anti-diabetic and lipid-lowering properties, including the seven studies on our database providing proof of its efficacy. Ginger delivers added benefits in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Studies like this one in 2012 show that regular consumption of dietary ginger helps protect against and improve systemic diabetic complications.
Ginger imparts a beneficial effect on the kidneys, an organ that is frequently damaged as a side-effect of uncontrolled diabetes. Researchers noted that a function of diabetes is to disturb homeostasis of metabolic enzymes regulated by the kidneys. This study demonstrated that extract of ginger could lower blood glucose levels, as well as improve activities of mitochondrial enzymes in diabetic rats, thus providing nephro-protective (kidney-protective) properties that have the potential to reverse diabetic-induced complications. 
Ginger: A Natural Treatment for Diarrheal Diseases
Diarrhea is typically an infection in the intestinal tract that causes three or more loose stools per day. Diarrheal diseases can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic organisms, and are the second-leading cause of death in children under five.  If a positive aspect of this disease can be found, its that it is entirely preventable, and also highly treatable. Ginger is an exceptional herbal medicinal for the prevention and treatment of all types of diarrheal diseases.
Food poisoning is one of the most common causes of diarrhea, and bacterial contamination from fish and shellfish is one of the easiest ways to get food poisoning.
An October 2016 study isolated several bacterial strains common to fish and shellfish, and tested the efficacy of treatment with essential oil extracted from Zingiber officinalerhizomes. Researchers found that only a small amount of essential oil was needed to inhibit the growth of the selected bacteria, and that ginger oil can be used as a good natural preservative in fish food due to antioxidant and antibacterial activities. 
In diarrheal diseases, the bacteria itself is not what poses the threat to human life, but rather the toxins that are released by the bacterias metabolic processes. Zingerone, another potent compound in ginger, binds to these toxins so that they cannot interact with the gut, effectively preventing diarrhea and its associated risks.
Ginger can also come to the rescue when other drugs are introduced to the system. In 2016, researchers wanted a way to ameliorate the nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting that accompanied treatment with an anti-tuberculosis drug. Results showed that ginger had a soothing effect on these symptoms, and could be an effective adjutant when pharmaceutical drugs are not well-tolerated. 
Diarrheal diseases are extremely common in areas of the world plagued by contaminated drinking water. Bangladesh is one such area, and local researchers wanted to find out if certain traditional spices possessed antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Samples of drug-resistant Escherichia coli were isolated from the drinking water, and tested against isolates of lime juice, garlic, ginger, onion, coriander, and black pepper. While none of these isolates alone had a significant inhibitory effect, a combination of lime, garlic, and ginger suppressed all bacteria samples. Researchers concluded that these isolates might form an effective barrier against enteric pathogens and could be used for prevention of diarrheal diseases. 
While ginger is very safe, there are a few contraindications to be aware of. Rare cases of allergic reaction have been noted, and it can interact with many drugs, including heart medications, blood thinners, and diabetes medications. Ask your doctor or consult a naturopath if you would like to add ginger to your health regimen and are taking any of these medications.
The ameliorative potential of ginger is explored in depth in GreenMedInfos 145-pg research paper. There are over 2100 published studies on the medicinal properties of ginger in the scientific literature, and the Greenmedinfo.com database contains evidence of gingers value in over 170 different health conditions, with more than 50 beneficial physiological effects.
Even more: Ginger is proven to be more powerful at fighting migraines than one of the top-selling migraine drugs.