The Rainbow Diet

Katharine Green
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We recently attended a most interesting lecture in Finland at the International NW convention given by Maili Lepola, a leading Functional Nutritionist who also studies how you can benefit from having the correct nutrition and lifestyle to suit your genetic profile.

The main focus of her talk was on eating a colourful diet, The Rainbow diet. Fruit and vegetables can be divided by colour, into 7 different categories, each with different health benefits. The antioxidants in plant based foods can turn your genes on. In layman’s terms eating lots of colours can turn your bad genes off and your good genes on.

She emphasized the importance of eating 5 colours on every plate and consuming all 7 colours in one day.


Red fruit and vegetables are important for our DNA, improving enzyme activity in the blood and intestine. They are good for bone marrow and blood cells, muscles, joints and skin. Food for the immune, skeletal and adrenal systems. Red foods activate your sense of survival, safety and protection. Red roots give you your foundation, a feeling of belonging and community. Eg: Tomatoes, peppers, chillies, beetroot, berries, kidney beans, radishes, pomegranates and protein


Orange foods help you flow. Orange foods contain water and oils which are good for cleansing; affecting your bladder, kidneys and water balance. You need orange foods for your reproductive systems, growing new cells and fat storage; as well as for your hips and ovaries. Eg: Tumeric, apricots, sweet potatoes, oranges, carrots, raisons, extra virgin olive oil, tropical fruits, nuts and seeds


Yellow foods help you get rid of toxins and are good for inner energy giving you power. Spinach is in this group, (when cooked the liquid is yellow) think; Popeye and strength. Yellow foods are important for your gallbladder, liver, pancreas, blood sugar balance, digestion and small intestine. Eg: Lemons, limes, sweet corn, ginger, cauliflower. Carbohydrates, whole grains and honey


Green foods are good for expanding blood flow and heart energy, increasing circulation, helping lymphatic systems, lungs and breathing. The shoulders, armpits, arms, wrists, hands and breasts all benefit. Eat plant foods to reduce chronic diseases; such as cancer, diabetes, alzheimer’s and age related functional decline. The smaller the leaves the more beneficial they are. Eg: Alfalfa sprouts, kiwi, green peppers (best cooked), watercress, spinach, asparagus, cabbage


Light blue foods are liquid foods and sea plants which support healthy mucous membranes, thyroid and throat. These are good for cancer suffers, and your metabolism, helping your throat, neck, mouth, ears, nose, hearing and smell. Maili Lepola stressed the importance engaging all your senses when you eat and to be sitting down. The gut works better when you are aware of what you are eating and chew your food properly. Eg: Sea plants, such as seaweed. Teas, smoothies, soups


Purple foods are the mood altering foods that influence brain function. They are good for your brain, memory, eyes, and sleep. Purple foods feed the mind and vision and improve your focus, helping to prevent alzheimer disease. Eg: Berries -blueberry/blackberry/raspberry, red cabbage, red onions, figs, organic coffee, organic dark chocolate, pungent spices, beetroot


White foods and ‘no’ foods clear your mind and body from toxins. They are clean, pure organically grown foods which affect sleeping patterns, your nervous system, energy flow and body temperatures. Fasting and detoxing are all good for your system. The amount of oxygen and sunlight is also crucial. Maili Lepola, stressed the importance of taking Vitamin D supplements from October to March when the sunlight is not strong enough to trigger synthesis of vitamin D in the skin. Eg: Apples, pears, bananas, mushrooms, dates, artichokes, onions, potatoes, garlic

To sum up here is some ‘food for thought’

  • Steam your vegetables to get the maximum nutrients
  • Try fasting for 12 hours a day, have a later breakfast if necessary
  • Buy local where possible, imported foods lose nutritional value
  • Freeze dried fruit and vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants and fibre
  • When eating unhealthy food add colourful foods to help the gut i.e. eat an avocado with your hamburger
  • Eating socially is good for the mind as well as the body
  • Eat as many dark colours as possible, especially as we get older, to boost the immune system and aid blood circulation
  • Use bone broth for soup, it provides collagen for your joints and skin
  • Cook with spices they are good for your hormones and neuron system
  • Ask yourself, is your shopping trolley colourful?

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