According to the National Cancer Institute, 95 percent of adults don’t get enough red foods in their diet. In a 2009 Report on Phytonutrients, it’s reported that 78 percent of Americans are falling short in red phytonutrients which come from red fruits and vegetables. Let’s look at the five benefits we receive when we eat red fruits and vegetables and where we can get these phytonutrients.
Red foods benefit us by:
Reducing the risk of cancer.
Red foods contain phytochemicals such as lycopene and ellagic acid which are known for their cancer-fighting abilities. It’s no secret that eating tomatoes and products made from them lowers the risk of prostate cancer. Watermelons also contain an even higher amount of lycopene and also L-citrulline which decreases cancer cell proliferation in some animal studies.
Lowering the risk of heart disease.
Red vegetables like beets have been shown to dilate blood vessels thereby lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. Red fruits such as strawberries and other berries are rich in bioactive compounds which prevent heart disease. Studies on pomegranates show that eating one or drinking the juice can reduce plaque in the arteries and lower systolic blood pressure. Whenever I can get pomegranate seeds, I throw 4 ounces in my daily smoothie for this reason.
Reducing the risk of diabetes.
Resveratrol, a polyphenol found at high levels in red grapes, red wine, and cranberries is known for its ability to modulate blood glucose levels and decrease insulin resistance. Experts at Harvard’s School of Public Health recommend red fruits such as strawberries and raspberries to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Improving the health of your skin.
Even your skin benefits from eating red foods. Red fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and polyphenols which protect our skin from damaging sunlight and excessive inflammation while promoting wound healing.
Boosting your immune system.
Vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients found in red foods that boosts your immune function by increasing the production of white blood cells. White blood cells help the body to fight off infections. Red apples contain a high amount of vitamin C.
Red foods are generally high in nutrients due to their deep pigmentation. They are especially high in antioxidants such as ellagic acid, quercetin, lycopene, and vitamins A and C. Here are some of the healthiest red foods to eat:
Red bell peppers
As you can see, there are many red foods to choose from. The deeper the pigmentation, the more nutrients and phytochemicals are packaged within. These red foods are plentiful around us and offer benefits in preventing cancer, heart disease, and diabetes while improving your skin and boosting your immune system. These five benefits are reason enough to include red fruits and vegetables in your diet.
How many red foods do you eat in a week?
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Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.