Join us for our Eat the Rainbow series! Each week this month we're featuring different colors of the rainbow you should be trying to include in your everyday meals.
This is the perfect time of year to incorporate more colors on to your plate. From reds, greens, blues and more! There's plenty of colors you can eat and we'll be giving you some insight on what those translate to be in food during this series.
It's amazing how Mother Nature has created just the right nutrients we need and how each color benefits different areas of our whole body.
We're excited for you to join this series and hopefully learn something new!
Our first color we're going to focus on is RED! A delicious color that packs a vibrant nutritional punch. Red is a color linked to numerous parts of our body, including:
"Many red fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants -- such as lycopene and anthocyanins -- 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." 1
Here's a list of naturally red foods that provide a nutritional punch!
1. Strawberries -
In season: May and June, but available year-round
A great source of folate which is beneficial to the heart and for women in their childbearing years. Folate is a key supplement in growing a healthy baby since folic acid is known to decrease the risk of certain birth defects. Strawberries are also a good source of Vitamin C which is good for boosting the immune system!
2. Cherries -
In season: June and July, but available year-round
The skin on cherries is a great source of fiber. Accompanied with rich levels of Vitamin C and potassium, this little gem is great for maintaining low blood pressure.
3. Cranberries -
In season: September to December, but available year-round
" 'Cranberries have been shown to cause the death of cancer cells in lab studies,'....But that's not all these pint-sized, maroon-colored berries can do. "Cranberries also can stop bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls and may even prevent H pylori, the bacteria responsible for many stomach ulcers, from sticking to the stomach walls and causing ulcers,"...The nutrients responsible for this anti-sticking mechanism are called proanthocyanidins. Cranberries are also rich in vitamin C." 2
4. Tomatoes -
In season: Summer, but available year-round
Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene. Lycopene has been strongly linked to prostate cancer protection and evidence that it protects against breast cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium and Vitamin C, so they're heart healthy too!
5. Raspberries -
In season: August through mid-October, but available year-round
Raspberries are high in fiber which helps lower 'bad' cholesterol.
6. Watermelon -
In season: May through September, but available year-round
Watermelon is a great source of lycopene. We already know lycopene is linked to reducing cancer risks, especially in prostate, but it also improves blood vessel function reducing risk of stroke.
7. Pink Grapefruit -
In season: October and May, but available year-round
Pink grapefruit is high in antioxidants and high in pectin, known to lower cholesterol. It is best if you are deciding between white grapefruit or pink/red grapefruit to go with the pink/red because there are higher levels of nutrients in the richer color.
8. Red Pepper -
In season: Available year-round
Red bell pepper is ultra rich in Vitamin C! They even contain as much Vitamin C as oranges. This is great for skin, bones and teeth.
9. Beets -
In season: June through October, but available year-round
Beets are rich in folate, lycopene, and anthocyanins. As we have mentioned above these three are awesome for cancer prevention, heart health and gut health.
There are many more natural red foods that contain just as much nutritional value as the ones featured here. Remember to always try and have a rainbow on your plate, pick the fruits and vegetables dark and rich in color, and remember your Dirty Dozen when choosing non-organic vs. organic.
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