We’ve all possible been instructed to “eat your greens,” however has anybody ever recommended that you need to eat the rainbow? It’s no secret that fruit and veggies are a vital a part of a nutritious diet, however does it matter which fruit and veggies you eat? Are some higher for you than others? Why does it matter what colours they’re?

Assortment of rainbow fruits and vegetables, berries, bananas, oranges, grapes, broccoli, beetroot background on white table arranged by color.
Vegatables and fruits are available nearly any coloration conceivable. Credit score: Shutterstock.

Check out these photographs of various sorts of fruit and veggies. What do you discover? You will have puzzled the place fruit and veggies get their totally different colours. Many of those brilliant colours come from naturally occurring chemical substances in crops referred to as phytochemicals.These are chemical substances crops naturally produce, they usually play an essential position in defending crops from issues like micro organism, viruses, or bugs. However the totally different compounds additionally change plant coloration:

  • Lycopenes are phytochemicals that give fruit and veggies a crimson coloration
  • Beta-carotene is current in orange meals
  • Yellow and inexperienced meals include lutein
  • Anthocyanins full the meals rainbow with lovely blues and purples

A few of these colourful plant chemical substances are additionally essential for the well being of those that eat them—like us! As soon as consumed, some phytochemicals operate as micronutrients, defending our cells and conserving our our bodies wholesome.

An assortment of tomatoes in a range of colors, organized by color.
How is that this assortment of colourful produce totally different from those above? Credit score: Shutterstock

Did you discover that the picture above is made up totally of various colours of tomatoes? Even inside one sort of fruit or vegetable, the quantities of various phytochemicals can range. And a few phytochemicals that double as micronutrients usually are not brightly coloured in any respect. As a substitute, they might give the fruit or vegetable its distinctive odor, taste, or one other adaptive high quality.

On this task you’ll discover the connection between the varied colours of fruit and veggies, and the dietary and well being advantages they supply. Will it take greater than a crimson apple a day to maintain the physician away?

Exercise #1 – Diet Investigation

How can “consuming the rainbow” affect our well being? Begin your investigation by watching this video:

Now it’s time to dig a bit deeper into the micronutrients discovered in numerous fruit and veggies. Are you able to join the colours that you just eat with the particular micronutrients that preserve your physique wholesome? Select six of your favourite fruits and/or greens to analysis on-line or in your native library. You should utilize this worksheet or create your individual chart to file what you be taught. Make sure you embrace the next info for every of your meals:

  • What a part of the plant (leaves, fruit, roots, seeds, and many others.) is it?
  • What coloration(s) is it?
  • What are widespread vitamins discovered on this meals?
  • How a lot of every nutrient is usually present in a serving of this meals
  • Is there anything that you just discover fascinating about its colours, vitamins, and/or the well being outcomes of this meals?

The web is usually a difficult place to analysis well being subjects, and you will need to discover dependable, correct info—particularly if you find yourself speaking about your well being! Learn this brief article on discovering dependable well being info on-line. When doubtful, it might be useful to ask a trainer, dad or mum, or librarian that will help you assess the standard of data or reliability of a supply. Need assistance discovering an excellent place to start out your analysis? Attempt one in every of these web sites:

After you have accomplished your analysis, evaluate your chart and replicate.

  • Do you discover any patterns in your chart?
  • Are there some vitamins that are typically present in meals of particular colours?
  • May you utilize the colour of a meals that will help you predict a few of its vitamins? All of its vitamins?
  • What connections are you able to make between fruit and vegetable coloration, vitamins, and well being advantages?
  • Does your analysis assist the advice to “eat the rainbow”? Why or why not?

Evaluate your analysis with the knowledge on this video. Do your conclusions match the recommendation within the video? Why or why not?

Dig a bit deeper! Now that you’ve a good suggestion of how the colours of your meals are associated to the vitamins you eat, chances are you’ll be curious to be taught extra. Take heed to this Science Friday episode that particulars how grocery retailer fruit and veggies have misplaced vitamins and taste over time, and the way consuming “wilder” meals may help.

What are two or three huge takeaways that you just be taught from listening to the interview? Does it change your view of the advice to “eat the rainbow”? Why or why not?

Exercise #2 – Preventing Illness With A Wholesome Weight loss program

It’s one factor to study vitamins in our meals, however that info is just useful if we are able to use it. Based mostly on the video that you just watched above, your meals analysis, and your individual life expertise, what sicknesses or ailments do you assume could possibly be improved with a nutritious diet? What fruits or greens would you advocate for somebody residing with that sickness or illness?

For this exercise, select a illness or sickness that impacts somebody you already know. This could possibly be a member of the family, good friend, or perhaps a pet. Use the web or public library to be taught extra about this sickness or illness. Discover out what vitamins might have an effect on the well being of the individual or pet coping with the illness. Analysis what meals are good sources for these vitamins. Don’t neglect about spices nearly as good sources of micronutrients, too! (All of these brightly coloured leaves, seeds, and powders are due to phytochemicals, identical to in fruit and veggies!) Make sure you take notes on what you be taught, and keep in mind: Though vitamin is extremely essential for getting and staying wholesome, it is only one a part of a wholesome life-style that features common train, avoiding unhealthy actions and dangers, and routine healthcare.

Inquiries to information your analysis:

  • Are there vitamins that would cut back the signs of the individual or pet, and assist them to dwell extra comfortably with the illness?
  • What vitamins (if any) may enhance the well being of the individual or pet?
  • Are there vitamins that would assist stop the illness or cut back the chance of the illness or sickness?
  • What meals include the vitamins you’d advocate for folks or animals coping with this illness?
  • What meals include the vitamins you’d advocate to stop or cut back the chance of the illness?
  • Spices might be nice sources of micronutrients. What spices could be useful to an individual or animal’s well being in relation to the illness you’re researching?
  • Is it attainable to eat an excessive amount of of the vitamins or meals you’d advocate? How a lot is an excessive amount of?
  • What are the constraints of vitamin to scale back signs, stop the illness, or deal with it? Is there sturdy proof that vitamin alone can do all of these issues?

Make sure you use the nice on-line analysis strategies that you just practiced within the first exercise to seek out correct well being info. Listed below are a couple of dependable on-line sources to start your search:

After you have accomplished your analysis, replicate in your findings.

  • What meals or kinds of meals would you advocate for somebody coping with the illness or sickness you researched?
  • What meals or kinds of meals would you advocate for somebody who desires to scale back their danger for the illness or sickness?
  • What different suggestions would you make about wholesome consuming habits based mostly in your analysis?
A bowl of quinoa salad with tomatoes and broccoli and a side of dressing.
Quinoa salad. Credit score: Shutterstock

Create A Public Well being Marketing campaign

By now, you in all probability have a fairly good concept of how to decide on wholesome fruit and veggies, particularly for many who could be affected by a particular illness or sickness. Don’t preserve that essential info to your self. Share it with others! Based mostly in your analysis, design a public well being marketing campaign to show others what you have got realized. Select one of many following codecs: create a brief video, design a poster, plan a dwell presentation, write and illustrate a youngsters’s image e book, develop a easy web site, or file a podcast.

Your public well being marketing campaign ought to embrace the next particulars:

  1. A transparent message that shares one to 3 key dietary suggestions based mostly in your analysis. What meals(s) ought to folks eat, and the way can they establish them?
  2. Any cautionary messages, if related
    – Is it unhealthy to eat an excessive amount of of your advisable meals?
    – May some folks have meals sensitivities or allergic reactions to them?
  3. State what illness or sickness these meals might assist, however don’t over-promise or make false claims.
  4. Present motivation or simple steps for following the suggestions. Why ought to folks comply with your suggestions? What is going to make it simpler for them to make wholesome decisions?
  5. Visuals ought to be neat, clear, and straightforward to learn.
  6. Embrace a one-page plan for sharing your message with an viewers. This plan could also be in paragraph or bulleted format, and will embrace the next:
    – Who’s your viewers?
    – Quick, written description of your marketing campaign
    – How you’ll share your marketing campaign
    – How your marketing campaign will join with a large viewers (girls and boys, totally different cultures, totally different languages, totally different ages, and many others.) in case your viewers is numerous
  7. Embrace a listing of sources that assist your key dietary suggestions.
  8. Develop one or two easy recipes to assist your viewers comply with your suggestions.

Creating profitable well being messages for the general public might be difficult. You could find recommendation and greatest practices for reaching your viewers on this article of ideas for efficient well being communication campaigns.

After you have accomplished your mission, discover methods of spreading the phrase. How will you share your marketing campaign along with your class? Along with your college? Along with your neighborhood?

Additional Credit score Exercise: Develop a Rainbow

A woman helps a child pull a carrot from a vegetable garden.
Gardening is enjoyable and might be an effective way to develop a wholesome assortment of fruit and veggies. Credit score: Shutterstock

In fact you should buy fruit and veggies on the native grocery retailer, however it may be much more enjoyable—and really satisfying—to develop your individual meals. What sorts of meals would you develop to satisfy the dietary suggestions you made in your public well being marketing campaign? Analysis and buy seeds that may develop into crops that meet a number of of these suggestions.

Questions to think about when selecting seeds:

  • How a lot area do it’s a must to develop your crops? A window sill? A big pot on a porch? House in a yard or college backyard? Select crops that can match and flourish within the area that you’ve.
  • What crops develop properly the place you reside? If you can be planting open air, you have to to think about your elevation and the way far you reside from the equator. What’s the typical rising season (the time after the final freeze within the spring to the primary freeze within the fall)? 
  • Take into consideration the local weather. Do you reside in a spot that will get a whole lot of rain? Or is it an arid or semi-arid setting? What sort of soil is widespread in your space? It could be useful to search for gardening info out of your state’s extension workplace or discuss to an skilled at an area gardening retailer.
  • What crops develop properly inside? If you can be planting indoors, you should definitely analysis the crops that can develop greatest indoors the place daylight could also be much less direct or area could also be very restricted.
  • How a lot time do you have got? Crops can range in how shortly they develop and produce fruit. Select an possibility that matches into your timeframe.
  • What crops will meet the dietary suggestions out of your vitamin analysis?
  • What meals do you take pleasure in consuming or would you wish to attempt?

Seeds might be bought at your native gardening retailer or on-line. Listed below are a couple of on-line seed sources: Harris Seeds, Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co., Almanac.

After you have your seeds and are able to plant them, learn the again of the seed packet for essential info. You’ll have to know the way deep and the way far aside to plant the seeds. The packet can even point out how a lot water and direct solar is advisable to your crops. You may additionally need to think about buying potting soil with or with out fertilizer.

Gardening can take a bit little bit of trial and error and is an excellent option to apply science abilities! Do plenty of background analysis to know the perfect practices for gardening in your space, but in addition be open to experimenting and making an attempt new issues in case your plant doesn’t develop as anticipated. Attempt to stay curious and open-minded as you develop this new talent. For some Science Friday gardening recommendation to get you began, take heed to “Need To Get Your Spring Backyard Going? Right here’s Some Skilled Recommendation.”

And a phrase of warning: Put security first! Gardening instruments might be sharp, bugs within the backyard can chunk and sting, and the solar might be brutal. Take security precautions, use sunscreen, and seek the advice of with an grownup about the perfect methods to remain wholesome and secure when rising your meals.

Doc your plant-growing course of by making sketches and taking notes in a science journal or lab pocket book. In case you have a digicam, take photographs, as properly. Write down what works and what doesn’t work. By documenting errors, you’ll be capable of replicate and check out one thing new the subsequent time.

On the finish of the rising season, harvest your fruit, vegetable or herbs and spices. Put together the recipe you created and share with your loved ones or mates. Snap a photograph of your dish, your crops, or your menu and put up it to social media with #EatTheRainbow.


Lesson design: Dennis Moore
Copywriting and Educator’s Information: Tiffany Kapler
Copyediting: Lois Parshley
Manufacturing: Ariel Zych