The Ultimate Guide to Eating the Rainbow

Every produce stand displays a rainbow of colored fruits and vegetables. Eating the rainbow has taken on a whole new meaning with the discovery of antioxidants, the color compounds in foods. Antioxidants (also known as phytochemicals, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids) are made by plants to help ward off predators and protect against radiation (1).  When consumed, antioxidants rid our bodies of free radicals helping to protect against cancer, reduce inflammation, support our body systems, and much more (2). Antioxidants are found in fruits, vegetables, teas, grains, nuts, seeds, and beans.

I recommend using the Wholesome app to view the phytonutrient content of whole foods. The app was created by a cancer survivor whose mission is to encourage eating the rainbow to better one's health. You can look up any nutrient in the app, such as 'Lutein', and it will show you the top foods containing that nutrient. There are over 90 nutrients you can look up to help you find the best foods to meet your nutrition goals. For a small upgrade fee, you can keep a food diary and track your nutrient intake including antioxidants. The app personalizes to you, so if you're pregnant or vegetarian it will help you get enough of the nutrients that you need. It's an easy way be sure you are getting enough of what you need!

The Wholesome App

The best micronutrient tracker

There are thousands of antioxidants found in red, orange, yellow, green, blue/violet, and white/brown foods. It is generally considered that the richer the color of the food, the more antioxidant power it boasts. 

Red colored foods

red green colored foods

The red foods contain antioxidants that protect the brain, liver, skin, and heart. Tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, apples, bell peppers, and rhubarb are examples of red foods that contain antioxidants such as lycopene, quercertin, and carotenoids. Lycopene is the most commonly known antioxidant found in tomatoes. Lycopene is best released from tomatoes after cooking, so make a tomato sauce to top your pasta. (1,3)

Orange colored foods

orange colored whole foods

The orange foods include pumpkin, turmeric, apricot, and sweet potatoes. These foods are high in beta-carotene and carotenoids. Beta-carotene is an important antioxidant that is found across a number of colored food groups (4). It is converted into Vitamin A in the body and helps to support healthy cell growth and immune system function. It is important to cook an orange food if it a high source of fiber to release the beta-carotene into a usable form. (1)

Yellow colored foods

yellow colored foods

Ginger, corn, pineapple, bananas, and lemons are some of the yellow foods high in lutein. Lutein is another important antioxidant as it promotes brain and heart health. (1)

Green colored foods

green colored foods

The power of green foods is well known yet most of us don’t eat enough of them. Included in this group is spinach, green apples, avocado, and broccoli. These foods contain chlorophyll, catechins, phytosterols, and glucosinolates, which promote hormonal balance, liver health, and cancer protection (2). Catechins, the antioxidant found in green tea, helps prevent breast cancer. Phytosterols help to reduce cholesterol. Glucosinolates, found in cruciferous vegetables, decrease the risk of breast and uterine cancer. (1)

Blue/Violet colored foods

purple colored foods

Berries, eggplant, figs, purple rice, and plums are part of the blue/violet group. This group hosts reservatrol and anthocyanidins that promote healthy aging and blood sugar control. Reservatrol is commonly associated with red wine; the red grape skins are an important source. (1)

White/Brown colored foods

brown and white colored foods

The last color group is white/brown. The foods included in this group are mushrooms, onion, coconut, and garlic. Most grains, nuts, seeds, and beans also fall into this color group as well. Antioxidants of this group include allicin and lignans. Be sure to let chopped garlic sit for at least 10 minutes before using to unleash the powers of allicin. Allicin is used to lower-blood pressure and prevent cancer. (3)

Each color of the rainbow touts numerous benefits. Start tracking with Wholesome today to be sure you don’t miss any!

nutrition tracking food diary app


(1) The Institute of Functional Medicine. 2014. Phytonutrient Spectrum Comprehensive Guide. Retrieved from

(2) Percival, M. (1997) Phytonutrients and Detoxification. Clinical Nutrition Insights, 5. Retrieved from

(3) University of Missouri Extension. 2012. Phytonutrients. Retrieved from

(4) University of Missouri Extension. 2011. Phytonutrients- the power of color. Retrieved from



Top 25 high protein foods for vegetarians

Vegetarian Protein rich foods app

Foods to get the most protein out of a vegetarian diet

100% GOAL= 70g PROTEIN per day

1. Tempeh - 1 cup cooked 66%

2. Tofu - 1/2 cup raw has 44%

3. Muenster cheese - 1/2 cup diced has 34% 

4. Soybeans- 1/2 cup cooked has 30% 

5. Cottage Cheese - 1/2 cup cooked has 45% 

6. Wheat germ - 1/2 cup 29% 

7. Yogurt - 1 cup plain, low fat has 28% 

8. Mozzarella - 1/2 cup shredded has 27%

9. Almond meal - 1/2 cup has 26%

10. Hulled Barley - 1/2 cup raw has 25%

11. Buckwheat - 1/2 cup has 24% 

12. Green soybeans - 1/2 cup cooked has 24% 

13. Chickpea flour - 1/2 cup has 22%

14. Parmesan cheese - 1 oz has 22% 

15. Spinach - 1 bunch raw 21% 

16. Peanuts - 1/4 cup raw has 20% 

17. Lentils - 1/2 cup cooked has 19% 

18. Pepitas - 1/4 cup roasted has 19%

19. Canellini beans - 1/2 cup cooked 19% 

20. Adzuki beans - 1/2 cup cooked has 19% 

21. Edamame  - 1/2 cup cooked has 18% 

22. Green split peas - 1/2 cup cooked has 18%

23. Pinto beans - 1/2 cup cooked has 17%

24. Kidney beans - 1/2 cup cooked has 17%

25. Black beans - 1/2 cup cooked has 17%

Micronutrient counter app

Source: Wholesome app sources it's data from the USDA

Are you getting enough protein in your diet?

Nutrition goal calculator app

Nutrition goal calculator app

Take the guesswork out of knowing if you are getting enough protein. Using the Wholesome app you can track toward your protein and other nutrition goals. Wholesome tells you if you have had too much sodium or sugar.

Set your personalized protein goal

By default, Wholesome sets protein goals to 15% of your calorie intake. For adult men the goal is set to 81g protein and for adult women the goal is 70g protein per day. For a pregnant woman in her 2nd and 3rd trimester, the default goals are 83g and 87g respectively. You can also customize your goal if you wish to get extra protein.


The easiest way to calculate & track protein in your recipe

Recipe micronutrient calculator

Want to know how much protein is in your recipe? You can add it to Wholesome and it will analyze it for 80 nutrients. It also generates a score out of a possible 10 points to give you a sense for how nutritious and healthy the recipe is for the calories.

About the author

Jessica Glago is the CoFounder of the Wholesome App. After having two different cancers in  her childhood she developed the app with the help of her husband to get more healthfulness out of her diet. To date, Wholesome for iOS has had over 250,000 downloads and over 1.5 million whole foods tracked. The app has been featured on BuzzFeed, LikeHacker, CultofMac, and The Seattle Times. 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
— Hippocrates

Anemia diet - top 25 vegetarian iron sources

According to the NIH, adult men need 8 mg of iron per day, women need 18 mg per day, and pregnant women need 27 mg per day.  Adding 50 mg of vitamin C to an iron-rich meal may make it possible to double or triple the absorption of iron.

Warning: Iron supplements represent one of the most common poisoning risks in children.

Top plant-based natural sources of iron

100% pER DAY = 18 mg 

Foods rich in iron app

Foods rich in iron app

1. Tofu - 1 cup raw 74%

2. Spinach - 1 bunch raw 51%

3. Guava nectar - 1 cup 44%

4. Baking chocolate - 1oz 28%

5. Soybeans - 1/2 cup cooked 25%

5. Hemp seeds - 1/4 cup 23%

6. Sesame seeds - 1oz roasted 23%

7. Swiss chard - 1 cup cooked 22%

8. Coconut milk - 1/2 cup 21%

9. Parsley - 1 cup raw 21%

10. Wheat germ - 1/2 cup 20%

11. Tempeh - 1 cup cooked 20%

12. Dark Chocolate - 1oz 80% Cacao 19%

13. Canellini beans - 1/2 cup cooked 18%

14. Hulled barley - 1/2 cup raw 18%

15. Lentils - 1/2 cup cooked

16. Beet greens - 1 cup boiled 15%

17. Lemon grass - 1/2 cup raw 15%

18. White mushrooms - 1 cup boiled 15%

19. Seaweed - 6 tbsp irishmoss, raw 15%

20. Black turtle beans - 1/1 cup cooked 15%

21. Mulberries - 1 cup raw 14%

22. Teff - 1/2 cup cooked 14%

23. Amaranth - 1.2 cup cooked 14%

24. Pepitas - 1/4 cup roasted 13%

25. Chickpeas - 1/2 cup cooked 13%

Source: Wholesome sources it's data from the USDA

Nutrition goal calculator for pregnancy

How to set Wholesome app to pregnant setting

Click on the menu icon on the top left, then click on "My Profile". Change the setting to Pregnant as shown on the right and then recalculate your goals. The app will auto-adjust your nutrients goals for the recommend amounts for pregnancy, such as 600 mcg of folate per day and 27 mg of iron per day. To customize your goals further, click on the 'daily goals' tab and click 'edit goals'.

An easy way to calculate the iron in your recipe

Wholesome analyzes 80 nutrients in foods and recipes including micronutrients, phytonutrients, omega 3s (like DHA), and antioxidants. You can track what you eat and monitor your progress against your nutrient goals. The app also has healthy recipes and scores them out of a possible 10 points for how healthy it is. You can add your own recipes or pin them from the web to get nutrition information. 

Food diary and nutrition tracker for pregnancy

About the author

Jessica Glago is the CoFounder of the Wholesome App. After having two different cancers in  her childhood she developed the app with the help of her husband to get more healthfulness out of her diet. To date, Wholesome for iOS has had over 250,000 downloads and over 1.5 million whole foods tracked. The app has been featured on BuzzFeed, LikeHacker, CultofMac, and The Seattle Times.