A common way to spot nutrient content in a fruit or vegetable is by its color. Generally speaking, the more colorful food is, the more nutrients it contains. Red fruits and vegetables are no exception and many are packed full of micronutrients as well as taste. Following are some heathy and delicious members of the red food group.
A fruit, tomatoes contain huge amounts of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. They also contain a large amount of lycopene that is believed to help battle cancer and heart disease. Tomatoes can be prepared in countless ways from being added to salads to being used as a sauce for a pasta and meat dish.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are high in vitamins A and C, both powerful antioxidants. They also contain large amounts of lycopene and potassium. Potassium lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health. They are low in calories and high in fibers so they are filling. Their shape and texture make them perfect for dipping in hummus or guacamole instead of chips. They can also be sautéed, roasted, or stuffed with a variety of fillings.
When cooked correctly, beets become a sweet and delicious dish that is low in calories, high in fiber and vitamin B. Their red color comes from betanin, which is believed to strengthen the immune system. Recently beets have also been shown to improved endurance during aerobic exercise.
One of the ancient super foods, pomegranates have a very high concentration of polyphenols and tannins that help to fight prostate cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and erectile dysfunction. Other research shows that they may reduce plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure to improve cardiovascular health. Pomegranates are great for snacking on alone, adding to salad, or drinking as a fruit juice.
Cherries are rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanin. They are also high in potassium and vitamin A. The combination of vitamins found in cherries are known to help combat diabetes, cancer, arthritis and gout. Cherries are the quintessential summer time snack for sitting on a porch and watching the world go by. Dried cherries are also an excellent ingredient for adding to trail mix and very few people can resist cherries in a fruit salad.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C and help reduce inflammation. Research has also shown that they prevent bad cholesterol from oxidizing and turning into arterial plaque. Strawberries are excellent in smoothies, in salads, or just eating alone.
Fresh raspberries are filled with fiber, potassium, zinc and niacin. They also contain some phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer. In addition to eating them raw, raspberries are great in smoothies or in yogurt.
Red foods have countless health benefits as well as being delicious both by themselves or cooked with other food. They are high in vitamins and minerals and many have anti-cancer properties because of their high antioxidant concentrations.
http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/Can-Beet-Juice-Instantly-Improve-Your-Endurance- Beets can also be roasted, pickled, or shredded and eaten raw.