In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s focus on the benefits of incorporating vibrant red foods into your diet. Bright red foods are not only nice to look at but also pack a punch, giving fruits and veggies a lot of their nutritional power. Did you know that rosy red cherries, strawberries, and peppers share some of the same beneficial nutrients?
The first thing I do when I sit down with someone for a nutrition consultation is analyze their food journal for a week. One of the most common modifications I recommend is to incorporate more color. It usually comes as a surprise to my clients because color isn’t something they normally think about as it relates to nutrition. But the truth is, colorful fruits and vegetables make you feel and look good. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals provide your body with the nutrients you need for increased energy, good skin and immune defense.
Red fruits and vegetables such as peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cherries, and raspberries all contain powerful antioxidants that help prevent certain cancers and heart disease. The most talked about red food nutrient is lycopene, which is mainly found in tomatoes, tomato products and watermelon. Studies have shown that lycopene can dramatically reduce the risk of developing prostate cancers. For women, lycopene has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain breast, stomach and lung cancers.
Red Foods To Eat:
• Red Apples
• Red Grapes
• Red Onions
• Red Peppers
Ways To Boost Your Red Food Intake:
• Sprinkle some raspberries into yogurt for a breakfast or snack.
• Mix dried cranberries with almonds for an on-the-go snack.
• Sauté red onion and add to chili or soups.
• Make a smoothie with strawberries and raspberries.
• Throw the red fruits and veggies onto a salad.
• Make fajitas with red peppers.
• Add tomato slices to a sandwich, Panini or pizza.