“Eat the rainbow” is a fundamental healthy eating tip. But what does it mean? Why is it important to get a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet?

You may be tempted to find a few foods you or your kids or family members like and focus on eating those. And it can be easy to fall into routines. But the truth is: Our bodies thrive on variety — a rainbow of nutrients.

In fact, the variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables may be more powerful for your health than any pill.

Eating a diversity of colorful foods can be an easy way to get the complete range of nutrients your body needs to thrive.

Eating the Rainbow Is Important for Everyone — Kids and Adults!

A varied, balanced diet gives your body the nutrition it needs to work properly. And without good nutrition, your body will be more likely to suffer from disease, illness, and poor performance.

Advice to eat the rainbow is often used with kids. And while kids especially need a diversity of foods in their diets, so do adults.

Why Are Fruits and Vegetables Full of so Many Colors?

Each color in fruits and vegetables is created by specific phytonutrients, which are natural compounds that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun, and other threats.

And each color indicates an abundance of specific nutrients.

Phytonutrients aren’t essential to keep you alive (unlike vitamins and minerals). But they may help prevent certain lifestyle diseases and keep your body working as it should.