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Eat the Rainbow


A rainbow diet consists of eating foods from all different colors on the spectrum. Each shade contains various nutrients and antioxidants that are important for our health. The compounds found in these foods help prevent chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Three primary pigments give fruits and vegetables their colorful hue, and each pigment acts as a powerful antioxidant. Carotenoids give color to red, orange, and yellow-hued produce, while chlorophyll gives foods a green color, and anthocyanins are present in red, blue, and purple produce. There is a fourth pigment, betalain; however, it is rare and found only in a few vegetables, such as red beets and swiss chard.

Red produce includes popular favorites such as tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and beets. Overall, vitamin C is more bountiful in red fruits and vegetables, with red peppers containing more than double the vitamin C of an orange. Lycopene, found in watermelon and tomatoes (especially cooked tomatoes), is a carotenoid that helps fight the aging process, cancer, and premature death.

Carrots, pumpkins, oranges, and apricots are in the orange family. These brightly colored fruits and vegetables also contain carotenoids that help strengthen the immune system and improve vision. Beta-carotene, the carotenoid that gives these fruits and vegetables their orange hue, is a naturally occurring retinol that helps protects the skin from sun damage

Yellow-colored produce is hued by a carotenoid also present in egg yolks called xanthophyll. This yellow pigment is widely known for slowing down age-related vision loss. To take advantage of these health benefits, try incorporating foods like squash, peaches, yellow peppers, and bananas into your diet. Bananas are also loaded with potassium, which enables the body to control fluid balance and transmit nerve messages.

Green produce boasts high fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and romaine, offer the highest level of fiber and antioxidants. They are pigmented by a compound called chlorophyll, which has been known to reduce inflammation in the body. Green fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting, allowing wounds to heal faster.

Anthocyanins, antioxidants that protect against cellular damage, are present in blue and purple produce such as blueberries, purple cabbage, and red grapes. Studies have shown that blue hues can lower blood pressure while increasing blood flow to the brain, decreasing the risk of neurological disease

Not eating the proper types of produce each day can lead to nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies not only affect not only your body but your mind as well. A lack of iron is known to cause disruptions in serotonin, the "feel-good" chemical. Low folate and vitamin B (both found in dark leafy greens) have been linked to depression. 

The best way to look and feel our best is to eat the rainbow!

We have a lot more healthy options for eating out than we ever have before. Houston's newest plant-based restaurant, Heartbeet, shares its recipe for delicious heart-healthy comfort food.

Heartbeet's Beet "Potato" Salad

Heartbeet is a spin-off of the favorite Houston staple, Hungry's. Chef Sue Nowamooz collaborates with Nousha, her daughter, to enhance and modernize healthy plant-based recipes.

One of their favorite dishes includes the Beet "Potato" Salad, a variation on conventional potato salad that uses beets in place of potatoes,


  • 3 pounds beets
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup tahini 
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt to taste 
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste 


  1. Cook the beets in a pot of boiling water until fork tender. Drain. 
  2. Allow the beets to cool slightly before handling. Peel. 
  3. Cut the beets into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss the beets in 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Make sure you shake the sheet pan halfway for even roasting. 
  4. Let the roasted beets cool. 
  5. Transfer cooled roasted beets to a large bowl. Add celery, red onion, and fresh mint and toss with wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, tahini, salt, and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate salad for several hours or overnight to let flavors blend.


Buying hyper-local means your food is fresher than you would find at a grocery store. A fruit or vegetable loses nutrients once picked and separated from the source. At local farmer's markets, the fruits and vegetables are harvested just before they are sold, so they're bursting with nutrients and taste better!

Farmer's market shopping is also a great way to support your community. Your purchase gives money to local farmers and vendors who live nearby rather than corporate-owned chains. It can also help the environment by reducing the miles your food travels, decreasing gas emissions.

Lastly, hitting up the farmer's market is a great way to try seasonal produce that you wouldn't usually buy. Both rich in antioxidants, turnips and rutabaga are in season this month and could be a fun focal point for a new dish.

Check out these six local farmer's markets near you!

Urban Harvest Farmers Market 

Urban Harvest Farmer's Market, located in Upper Kirby, began in 2004 out of a vision to support fresh, real food. Today it is one of Texas' most prominent markets, with over 100 local vendors.

2752 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX 77027
Saturdays, 8:00am-12:00pm

Memorial Villages Farmers Market

The Memorial Villages Farmers Market, hosted by the First Congregational Church, brings vendors and the community together. The entire family is welcome as the event offers a playground, children's activities, and high-quality merchants.

10840 Beinhorn Rd, Houston, TX 77024
Saturdays, 9:00am-1:00pm

Braeswood Farmers Market

Located in Southwest Houston, the Braeswood market features over 50 vendors providing organic pasture-bred eggs, organically fed chicken, grass-fed and wagyu beef, locally farmed unfiltered raw honey, and fresh produce.

10425 Hillcroft Ave, Houston, TX 77096
Saturdays, 9:00am-1:00pm

Elenora's Market 

Eleanora's Market, which debuted in 2017, is held every Saturday at Cavatore Italian Restaurant in The Heights. The Market, held rain or shine, features over 30 merchants providing the highest quality fruit, cheeses, meats, and baked goods.

2120 Ella Blvd, Houston, TX 77008
Saturdays 9:00am-1:00pm

Heights Mercantile Farmers Market 

Located in The Heights across from Donovan Park, this market not only offers fresh produce, meats, and cheeses, but also features live music. This event is fun for the entire family.

714 Yale St, Houston, TX 77007
2nd + 4th Sundays 9:00am-1:00pm

Rice Village Farmers Market 

Market-goers can wander around the Village, where they can find everything from sustainably sourced produce and chef-made platters to fresh morning coffee and made-to-order margaritas.

2520 Amherst St, Houston, TX 77005
1st + 3rd Sundays 10:00am-2:00pm

A rainbow diet consists of eating foods from all different colors on the spectrum. Each shade contains various nutrients and antioxidants that are important for our health.