Put Color On Your Plate – Red

February 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm Leave a comment

beets

There is another reason why eating your fruits and vegetables is good for you. The rich pigment color in plant-based foods come from compounds called phytonutrients or phytochemicals. Phytochemicals protect plants from predators and disease. Current research suggests that phytonutrients may also play a role in protecting us from disease, especially in those who consume high levels of plant-based foods. Eating a variety of plant-based foods provides a variety of beneficial phytonutrients. Supplements do not perform as well, so get your phytonutrients from whole foods.

What are the various benefits of each color? Let’s start with red, in honor of Valentine’s Day.

 

dried cranberries

Phytonutrients that provide the red color in plants include lycopene, ellagic acid and carotenoids. Carotenoids act as anti-oxidants, attacking harmful compounds that damage cells and tissues. Lycopene improves heart and blood health and also supports joints. Lycopene has also been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.   Ellagic acid may prevent cancer.

 

Red foods include:

Red Grapes

Cherries

Apples (with skin)

Beets

Cranberries

Red Grapefruit

Pomegranates

Radishes

Raspberries

Strawberries

Red Peppers

Tomatoes

Watermelon

 

Put some red on your plate! Challenge yourself to try a new fruit or vegetable!

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