Healthy Red Foods

Nutritionists advise to pay particular attention to the color of foods we eat and include more of the red and dark green foods into our daily diet. Studies have shown that produce with brighter color has more concentrated nutrition.  Red foods specifically are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can protect our heart and body.

Here is a list of some familiar red fruits and vegetables that deliver disease-fighting phytochemicals.

Tomatoes

 

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red tomato by foto76 – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Red tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene. Studies have shown that eating tomatoes and tomato-based products can lower the risk of heart problems, prostate cancer and diseases of the digestive tract. It may be eaten raw or mixed in salads but cooked tomatoes such as tomato sauce or tomato paste are best recommended as cooking tomatoes can bring out more of its lycopene content. Aside from lycopene tomatoes are also rich in potassium and vitamin C. Moreover, tomatoes are available all year round.

 

Red Peppers

 

red pepper by James Barker – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Red peppers do not only add color and flavor to dishes but they are very healthy to eat too because they contain high levels of potassium, vitamin A and C. The capsaicin, an antioxidant found in hot red peppers can fight disease-causing bacteria.

 

Strawberries

 

strawberries by Apolonia – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Strawberries are low-calorie fruit which are rich in Vitamin C,Bs and K,  potassium and folate.  They contain substances called ellagic acid and polyphenols which may help protect against cancer.

 

Apples

 

red gala apples

 

Red apples are highly versatile food which can be eaten fresh, mixed into cereals, yogurt and salads. The apple skin is rich in pectin which studies show can lower bad cholesterol and send it out of the body. This fruit also contains flavonoids and quercetin, a substance known to protect against Alzeihmer’s disease and cancer particularly lung and colon cancer.

 

Red Kidney Beans

 

red kidney beans by sirikul – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Red kidney beans are rich in vitamin B and zinc which supports wound healing, reproductive health and healthy immune system. They also contain potassium and folate.

 

Red Watermelon

 

red watermelon

 

Red watermelons contain lycopene like tomatoes which helps defy the bad effects of free radicals moving and flowing in the body. Studies show that eating red watermelons may help prevent cancer and slow down aging. It holds plenty of Vitamins C and A too.

 

Pomegranates

 

pomegranate by adamr – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Pomegranates are delicious when eaten fresh or made into juice. It contains potassium, polyphenols, anthocyanins and other antioxidants. According to studies this fruit may help lower the blood pressure and reduce the build up of plaque in the arteries.

 

Cranberries

 

cranberries by James Barker – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Cranberries are filled with lots of Vitamin C.  Dried cranberries are portable healthy snacks available in the supermarket. Cranberry juice according to studies can prevent yeast infections in women.

 

Raspberries

 

raspberries by adamr – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Raspberries have high fiber content as it also contains zinc, potassium and niacin.

 

Cherries

cherries by graur codrin – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

The deep red color of  fresh cherries contain potassium, vitamin A, calcium and antioxidants like anthocyanin . It is best recommended to eat them fresh rather than the artificially colored and sweetened bottled cherries that most of us usually buy. It can help fight gout, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and can reduce pain and inflammation.

 

Beets

 

beets by digidreamgrafix – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Beets can be roasted, shred them raw for your salad, or pickle them. The earthy flavor of beets boasts of vitamin B, folate, fiber and phytochemical betanin which can help boost immunity.

 

Red Grapes

 

red grapes by antpkr – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

 

Red grapes have lots of Vitamin C and B, potassium and beneficial compounds such as flavonoids, quercetin, resveratrol.  Eating grapes can help boost good cholesterol, however, eating too much grapes is not recommended because they can pack in the calories. One serving of grapes is around 10 pieces per meal only.

 

Keep healthy with the the red food power, however choose whole foods like fruits and vegetables with natural red color and keep away from processed unnaturally red foods that get their red color through dyes and processing as they may contain undesirable additives like fat, sodium and sugar. Make a habit of reading labels always :)

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