Eating the Rainbow: Part 1 .... RED

Eating the Rainbow: Part 1 .... RED

Red

Nutrition and Benefits

Not only does an apple a day keep the doctor away, but all red fruits and veggies, such as strawberries, watermelon, beets, tomatoes, cherries, red peppers and raspberries, do the same.

Why? One reason is that red fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins; which, essentially, limit the damage caused by free radicals and help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, macular degeneration, and memory problems.  

Another reason red fruits and vegetables are good for you is that they contain lycopene. It, too, helps lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. And, it gives some protection of your skin from damage from the sun.

Red fruits and vegetables are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and potassium. So, in addition to the benefits I already mentioned, red fruits and vegetables also are helpful in boosting healthy vision and a stronger immune system; lowering the risk of urinary tract infections, reducing blood pressure, reducing the risk of prostate cancer, decreasing tumor growth, and lowering LDL cholesterol levels.  Wow!  They do pack a punch.

Quick list of some of the red fruits and vegetables

beets, blood oranges, cherries, cranberries, guava, papaya, pink grapefruit, red grapefruit, pomegranates, radicchio, radishes, raspberries, red apples, red bell peppers, red chili pepper, red grapes, red onion, red pears, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon.

Tips and facts about specific red fruits and vegetables

  •  When eating red potatoes, leave the skins on so you get the benefit of the nutrients in the skins.
  • Cooked tomatoes and red potatoes are rich in potassium as well as in lycopene (uncooked versions of tomatoes have lycopene also, it’s just not as concentrated as when cooked).
  • Another tip is that red fruits and vegetables are usually the highest of fruits and vegetables in vitamin C.
  • Cherries provide fiber (from their skins) as well as vitamin C and potassium.
  • Cranberries. We all reach for cranberry juice when we think a urinary tract infection is coming our way. Do you know why? It’s because those tart little berries contain the nutrients that prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary track
  • Raspberries are high in fiber and are known to reduce LDL cholesterol.
  • Red beets are rich in antioxidants. In addition, they provide potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin C and nitrates. In my reading, I found they may improve endurance, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow.  All wonderful things.
  • Red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable with powerful antioxidants. It decreases the risk of brain disorders, cancer and heart disease and packs in some vitamin A, K, C, and B6.
  • Red grapes provide the antioxidant resveratrol which is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Red peppers are rich in vitamins A and C. Note: green peppers, if left to grow and age turn yellow, orange and then red. As they deepen in color, they add to their stores of vitamins A and C.
  • Strawberries provide folate which is good for heart health. 
  • Watermelon, pink grapefruit and tomatoes help fight prostate cancer.

Summary

Wow… With just red doing all this, what’s left for the other colors to do.  Check back next time when we add another color to your palate (and palette). In the meantime, enjoy some red fruits and vegetables.

be kind … be the change

be the healthiest version of yourself

Click here for Eating the Rainbow: Introduction

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