Councilman Mike Elam's Blog

Feb 08

[ARCHIVED] Eat Red Foods to Improve Nutrition

The original item was published from February 8, 2017 1:05 PM to February 14, 2017 9:48 AM


A mix of colors in your meal does more than just add to the attractiveness of your plate. The variety of colors improves your health by presenting an ideal combination of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that cannot be obtained through just one source.

RED is one of the colors that should be found on every plate. Red fruits and vegetables co
ntain antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and other nutrients that have been shown to promote heart
BowlofChilihealth, improve memory and reduce the risk of some cancers. Lean red meat, pink salmon and red beans are high in protein, which helps to build strong bones and muscles, repair damaged tissues and improve your immune system.

Here are just some of the red foods that are good for your health:

Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, potassium, vitamin A, the B vitamins (B6, folate and thiamin) and vitamin C. The nutrients are plentiful whether the tomato is eaten raw, cooked or in a sauce; however, lycopene appears to be more potent in cooked products.
Choose Red Fruit

Strawberries contain folate, which helps decrease the risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy. Additionally, the fruit has more vitamin C than oranges. Eating strawberries is also believed to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Watermelon is full of water and is another great source of lycopene, which decreases the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.

Cherries are packed with the vitamins A and C, as well as the antioxidant anthocyanin that fights inflammation. Regardless if the cherries are fresh, frozen or dried, you can reap the benefits from this tart treat.

Red peppers contain vitamins A and C, and the spicy varieties contain capsaicin, which relieves inflammation.

Cranberries, in juice, dried or traditional fruit form, pack a wallop of flavor and a cancer-fighting punch. The proanthocyanidin nutrients can stop bacteria from infecting the stomach and urinary tract walls. The flavorful fruit is also rich in vitamin C.

With February’s focus on Valentine’s Day and heart health, it is a perfect time to add red foods to your plate. However, it’s important to remember that a rainbow of color and flavor should be a part of your Eat Right diet. Check out our easy-to-make Healthy Eats snacks to bring these colorful foods and flavors alive for your family.