If the title sounds familiar, it is because Skittles made the expression popular when they were marketing their multi colored line of candy. It was, and still is a fantastic campaign. A consumer can’t help but think of Skittles every time the phrase is repeated. The company was on to something when they created “taste the rainbow”, but maybe not for the reasons they realized. Some of the most important health substances in foods are antioxidants. So, how do you know if the food you are eating has any? I have some great news, look at what you are eating. If it is a bright and colorful whole food, it probably has antioxidants.
The Correlation of Food & Color
Different color foods have different compositions of nutrients and antioxidants. This is because specific chemicals reflect light differently, and therefore give off a different color. For example, carotenoids are known for their presence in orange colored foods, while flavonoids are found in blue and violet foods. This is quite fascinating. Even more remarkable is that your body is composed of trillions of cells that are simultaneously carrying out numerous functions. Antioxidants have an important role in these tasks. Therefore, doesn’t it seem important to have all the supplies your body needs to carry out these functions? I think so, and so does Mother Nature. That is why she conveniently color coded foods to assist you.
The Role of Antioxidants
What exactly do antioxidants do then? A lot of time and money has been spent researching this question and their importance continues to grow. One major role is that they prevent cellular damage by inhibiting free radicals. Free radicals are reactive by-products that are created during cellular metabolism. They can react with your cells and create havoc. This process is believed to potentially play a role in aging, cancer promotion, and many more diseases. I believe it is safe to say that consuming antioxidants is important. It is also essential to consume a wide variety of antioxidants as they each have unique characteristics. Getting only one variety of antioxidant would be like Thor telling the rest of his Avenger friends to stay at home while he defends the earth. Thor is great, but Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk can help do a lot more damage to the bad guy.
Next time you’re in the grocery store, browse the fruit and vegetable section a little more than normal. Do you remember there being that many different colors? Your food has a message for you – taste the rainbow. Your body will thank you.