We grew up on two really ingrained food adages. An apple a day, keeps the doctor away and the second…well there are several about the ‘green and leafy’. And now I am seeing red. All around me. And pardon the metaphor, but red may be the way to stay in the pink of health! By Raunaq Roy
There are five colours that food come in – au natural. White, yellow, green, blue and red. And red are definitely a reservoir of the good stuff. So welcome to your world the pink ladies: strawberries, cherries, raspberries, watermelon, tomatoes, and beets
Many red fruits and veggies are extremely rich sources of antioxidants that may do everything from fight heart disease and prostate cancer to decrease the risk for stroke and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in people aged 60 and older). Antioxidants soak up damaging free radicals.
Red Food: Strawberries
Benefits: “They are a good source of folate, which helps heart health and is helpful for women in their childbearing years,” All women who have been pregnant will know the importance of the tiny yellow tablets to supply you wi your daily dose of Folic acid, which is known to decrease the risk of certain birth defects.
Strawberries are also a good source of the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C which boosts immune system function among other things.
Zoom the nutrition: Sprinkle some strawberries on your cereal or blend some frozen strawberries in a skim milk and frozen yogurt smoothie.
Red Food: Cherries
Benefits: apart from being rich sources of vitamin C and potassium, cherries are high in fibre. So they boost immunity, lower blood pressure and help digestion.
Zoom the nutrition: Add dried cherries to cereals all year round.
Red Food: Cranberries
Benefits: Cranberries have actually been shown to cause the death of cancer cells in lab studies. They also stop bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls and may even prevent H pylori, the bacteria responsible for many stomach ulcers. Cranberries are also rich in vitamin C.
Zoom the nutrition: include it in your diet, juices, canned cranberry smoothies, as a stuffing to your turkey….
Red Food: Tomatoes
Benefits: tomatoes Are a tricky one sometimes. While they are a good source of antioxidants (especially prostate cancer protection, possibly even breast cancer), you have to watch out for the uric acid content. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium and vitamin C, which makes them heart healthy, too.
Zoom the nutrition: good old Indian masala, or cooking up pasta with marinara or even chowing down on a vegetable pizza. The antioxidant, lycopene’s bio-availability increases when you cook it.
Red food: Raspberries
Benefits: “Raspberries are high in fiber, which we know helps lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Red Food: Watermelon
Benefits: as a rich source of lycopene it may decrease the risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol. And it decreases the risk for certain cancers, primarily prostate, as well as the risk of macular degeneration. It also improves blood vessel function and lowers stroke risk.
Zoom the nutrition: Apart from being a summer cooler of choice, include the watermelon in your diet all year round. Salads, juices, in a great big slice.
Red Food: Pink Grapefruit
Grapefruit is highly nutritious but pink grapefruit has higher levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, is a good source of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol.
Zoom the nutrition: grapefruit interferes with some drugs, but for the most part, add it to your salad, and have it as juice. Organic food stores will often keep canned or jarred grapefruits.
Red Food: Red Pepper
Benefits: Red pepper is a phenomenal source of vitamin A, which helps with skin, bones, and teeth. And most people don’t realize that they have as much vitamin C as an orange.
Zoom the nutrition: soup, salad, pizza topping – any way you like it.
Red Food: Beets
Benefits: Uncommonly rich in sugar and yet low in calories. Don’t we wish there were desserts like that! Beets are rich in folate, lycopene, and anthocyanins.
Apart from red, you should try and include the four other colours in your diet and try and enrich your diet with nutritious food rather than supplements.