Posted 11 months ago

Food Rainbow

Phytonutrients are compounds produced by plants to help protect them from environmental damage or predators. Some phytonutrients have been found to have cancer-protective properties, and many are anti-inflammatory. By eating “the rainbow” you are providing your body with protection… so EAT IT!


Rainbow - Red Phytonutrients that give food their red color include anthocyanidins, carotenoids, flavones, flavanols, luteolin, lycopene, and quercetin.  These phytonutrients help reduce inflammation and protect us from free radicals that can damage DNA, increasing a person’s risk of developing chronic disease.

Red Foods: beetsradishestomatoessweet red peppersrhubarbred onionsred potatoesapples/applesaucegrapefruitpomegranatecranberrieswatermelon,

strawberriescherriesplumsraspberriesred grapes and kidney beans.


Rainbow - OrangePhytonutrients that provide the orange color of foods include beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, and curcuminoids, to name a few. These phytonutrients help reduce inflammation in our bodies and support eye and skin health.

Orange Foods:  acorn squashwinter squashsweet potatopumpkinscarrotsbell pepppersorangespersimmonsmangopapayaapricotstangerinesdried fruitnectarinecantaloupe, Tumericcurry powder and cayenne.


Rainbow - YellowPhytonutrients that give food their yellow color are carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin.These phytonutrients help reduce inflammation in our bodies and support eye and skin health.

Yellow Foods:  corn, popcornhominy, succotashsummer squashspaghetti squashrutabagasYukongold potatoesbell pepperspineapplebananaspeacheslemons and curry powder.


Rainbow - GreenAnimal and cell studies have found the phytonutrient indole-3 carbinol to inhibit progression in several cancers by protecting our healthy cells from DNA damage, antiviral and antibacterial effects, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Green Foods: broccolibrussels sproutscabbagekalecollard, greenskohlrabiarugulachardspinachwatercresscelerypeascucumbersartichokesgreen peas/snow peaslettuceasparagusokraolives/olive oillimerosemarybasilparsleycilantrothymegreen tea and Matcha.


Rainbow - PurplePhytonutrients that provide the blue/purple color of foods include anthocyanidins, procyanidins, and resveratrol.  These compounds are anti-inflammatory and promote good heart function.

Purple Foods: brassicascauliflower (purple)kale (purple)eggplantpurple potatoesprunesgrapes/raisins, berries, and figs.


Rainbow - WhitePhytonutrients that give foods their white/tan color include allicin, cellulose (fiber), lignans, sesamol, tannins and terpenoids.

White/Tan/Brown Foods: cauliflowerRusset/Idaho/fingerling potatoesmushroomsonions/shallotsleeksgarlicparsnipscelery root, gingercoconutchickpeaslentilsbeans (black beanscannellini), black-eyed peassoy/tofumiso, whole wheatoatsfarroquinoabarleybuckwheatbrown ricechestnutspecansalmondspine nutswalnutsBrazil nutspeanutscashewssesametahinichia seeds, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee, and dark chocolate (YUM!!).

Brenda Gridley, CSP, RDN

Supportive Care Services Department

Areas Brenda has managed include pediatric and neonatal intensive care units where she was responsible for individualizing therapeutic diets and alternate nutrition support  based on specific metabolic needs, medical conditions, and cultural preferences.

Her passion for nutrition was developed at a young age and reared by her grandmother who always instilled the importance of a healthy diet and active lifestyle.  When her grandmother became ill, Brenda became aware of the impact nutrition plays in disease prevention and maintaining overall mind and body health.