Seeing red in fruits and vegetables may mean protection from various health conditions including prevention of cardiovascular diseases and reduction of cancer risks.
The red color in fruits and vegetables shouts phytonutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin and hesperidin. Their phytochemical properties may be beneficial in regulating blood pressure levels, reduce tumor growth, lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Two powerful antioxidants– vitamins A and C may aid in preventing heart disease and are beneficial for various ailments.
Fresh, crisp apples are good sources of vitamin C and fiber. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that keeps the capillaries and blood vessels healthy, aids in the absorption of iron and protects the body’s cells from damage. Among the health benefits of fiber include: prevention of constipation, aids in weight loss and lowers your risk of digestive conditions. One medium apple has about 4.4 g of fiber.
Aside from its cancer-fighting lycopene, watermelon is also a good source of potassium, folic acid and vitamins B1 and B6. B vitamins in food have been found to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. This ultra-low calorie filling fruit is one of the rare food sources of citrulline, an amino acid found to have Viagra-like effects to the blood vessels of the body. A cup of watermelon contains 176 mg of potassium.
Strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C and manganese. Manganese acts as a coenzyme to assist metabolic progression in the body. The mineral is also involved in forming connective tissues, calcium absorption, proper function of the thyroid, and regulates blood sugar level. This heart shaped fruit is also a very good source of dietary fiber and iodine and a good source of potassium, folate, vitamin K and magnesium.
Red and tangy sweet cherries are packed with vitamins and minerals. They are low in calories and low in fat. This luscious fruit is one of the few food sources which contain a significant amount of melatonin, an antioxidant which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag and prevent memory loss. Red tart cherries were found to contain the phytochemical anthocyanin which helps ease the pain of arthritis and gout.
Preliminary medical research showed that regular consumption of raspberries is beneficial in inflammation, pain, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies and age-related macular degeneration. Their antioxidant property is highest among fruits. They are also excellent sources of vitamin C and manganese and are one among fruits with the highest fiber content.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell pepper is packed with two powerful antioxidants—vitamins A and C. A cup contains 5244 IU of vitamin A. It is also an excellent source of vitamin B6, an essential nutrient for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine (which influence the mood) and melatonin (which helps regulate the body clock). Red bell peppers also contain lycopene, lutein and zeanthin.
Here’s an everyday vegetable that’s loaded with more than 20 vital nutrients. For several years, the lycopene in tomatoes have been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. Lycopene from tomatoes may be beneficial against a growing list of cancers including: colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and pancreatic cancers. Tomatoes are also very good sources of vitamin B2 and chromium. Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin has shown to be beneficial in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks, and chromium has been found to help keep the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients under control.
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