Clean Living with Coach Jane: Eat the Rainbow

by JANE BURNETTE  IG @coachjanebb FB @coachjanebb

Eating the rainbow of color from foods grown in the soil is nature’s way of providing a multivitamin. Going back to the basics, just eating real food, can be a panacea for so many health issues! I want to break down the benefits of eating the rainbow, when to buy organic, and tips for getting your fruits and veggies in. 

Below are five ways eating the rainbow can help optimize our health. Let’s dive in to see why our grandmother was right…eat your veggies (and fruits)!

1- The benefits of consuming each color of the rainbow on a regular basis

  • Red, good source of lycopene and capsanthin; protects against heart disease and genetic damage
  • Orange/Yellow, good source of beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and flavonoids; protects against cancer, can improve skin, and support vision
  • Green, good source of lutein, chlorophyll, and indoles; prevents cancer and boosts detoxification
  • Deep Blue/Purple, good source of anthocyanins and phenolic acids; delay cell aging, boost heart health and can protect against Alzheimer’s Disease
  • White, good source of allicin and flavonols; antimicrobial, anticancer, and immune boosting

2-Eating the rainbow satisfies our hunger hormone, leptin, the put-the-fork down hunger hormone

Our signal of satiety first starts with our eyes. When we see a plate full of color, it registers to our body that we are getting lots of vitamins and nutrients in that meal. Eating color registers satiety so we aren’t reaching for that sweet or salty after we consume our meal. There is an epidemic of obesity especially in kids. When kids consume 1-2 colors at a meal (usually beige, white, or brown), their bodies know they haven’t received the nutrients they need. They don’t feel full so they over consume way more calories than needed. 

3-Natural color from the earth is full of fiber and water

Fiber helps with regularity helping naturally detoxify the body of toxins. In our modern day world, we are being bombarded by fake estrogens, obesogens (toxins that cause us to store fat), and endocrine disruptors. We can help prevent cancer and weight gain by consuming color. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are particularly good at supporting our liver in detoxification.

4-Vegetables and fruits cause our mitochondria to multiply within each cell

The phytonutrients from deeply pigmented, above-ground vegetables, along with fruits like berries, help uncouple our mitochondria. If you remember what you learned in science class, our mitochondria produce ATP which is energy. The more mitochondria we have, the more energy we create. A bonus is that we burn more calories!

5-A variety of color promotes a healthy gut microbiome which can protect against mental health issues

Our gut and brain talk to each other via the vagus nerve. Healthy gut bacteria feed off fiber from consuming lots of color. Science is showing that a reduction in certain strains of good bacteria is showing an increase in symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. 

Five tips for eating the rainbow

  1. Buy organic for the fruits and vegetables that make up the dirty dozen. You can check out to see the most current list of fruits and vegetables that are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
  2. Shop local. We are in the height of farmers markets carrying many locally grown goodies. This means your produce will usually be organic, and it will cost less.
  3. Consume at least 7 servings of color a week, making the majority above ground vegetables. A serving consists of 1 cup raw and ½ cup cooked. 
  4. Make a goal to consume 20 different colorful fruits and vegetables a week.
  5. Add healthy fats like avocado or olive oil when cooking vegetables. This will help the nutrients be better absorbed and taste better than steamed!

A little about me:

Who am I?

Hi! My name is Jane Burnette. I am a proud mom to three healthy boys, a lover of the great outdoors, a forever student, health nut, exercise enthusiast and native of the Triad. I am also a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

What do I do?

I am a holistic health coach with multiple certifications in all things related to health, nutrition and exercise. In 2015, I received my first certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I haven’t stopped taking classes since then and hope I never will! The areas I’m most passionate about are my trainings in Ayurveda, Polyvagal Theory, Female Hormone Optimization and Weight Loss, and most recently the Journey of Intrinsic Health. All of these have one thing in common; the body has the ability to heal itself if we allow it to do so.


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