Red Superfood

Fresh, luscious reds and greens! These are the most colorful foods to include in your diet, not just because they add a taste of aesthetics to your plate but, more importantly, they contain essential nutrients that support good health.Red FoodsDeep red fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals (substances found only in plants), such as lycopene and anthocyanins. They are rich in antioxidants which support the immune system which is the body’s first line of defense against disease.Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found predominantly in tomatoes. Lycopene in tomato paste is four times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. Watermelons and pink grapefruits also contain lycopene.Recent studies have uncovered compelling evidence causing researchers to theorize that increased blood levels of lycopene may decrease the risk of developing certain types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer. Although these studies are inconclusive, the findings are sufficiently exciting to justify further exploration. In addition, because oxidation plays such a key role in the formation of plaque, studies have also linked antioxidant-rich lycopene with support healthy heart functions. Lycopene is one of the most potent antioxidants; able to neutralize free radicals that are thought to be responsible for disrupting healthy cellular activity.Anthocyanins are a group of phytochemicals, found in red fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, raspberries, and beets. Raspberries (especially black) and cranberries contain the richest contents of anthocyanins. In the laboratory, anthocyanins have shown a positive influence on a variety of health issues. According to the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS is the world’s largest scientific society) scientists identified anthocyanins in cherries could help support healthy blood sugar levels. Make sure you color your diet red with a combination of these red foods: beets, red apples, strawberries, watermelon, radishes, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, pink/red grapefruit, pomegranates, raspberries, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, tomatoes.

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Green FoodsGreens foods contain phytochemicals as well. Green foods, particularly dark leafy vegetables, are good sources of mineral and vitamins. These green foods contain calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins K, C, E, and the B-complex vitamins. They also contain an array of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, which combined with zeaxanthin (found in corn, red peppers, oranges, grapes and egg yolks), help to support eye health and protect the eyes from age-related problems. Even omega-3 fatty acids are found in dark green leaves.Red SuperfoodsDoctors advise getting our nutrients from natural food intake. Whenever this is not possible, make sure you get all the health benefits of red foods and their powerful antioxidant support for good health from a red superfood product. Red Superfoods are usually in powder form and are easy to make by simply adding water! Most red superfoods are versatile and can be used in a variety of smoothie recipes like the one below:

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“Laura’s Pink Lemonade”1 tbsp grated lemon zest3/4 cup nonfat lemon yogurt1/2 cup crushed ice1 tbs. lemon juice1 tbsp Ruby RedsHow to Choose a Red SuperfoodLook for a red superfood made from real, whole foods. Natural ingredients are better absorbed in the body. Choose a product with many fruits and vegetables combined synergistically to give you the optimum ratio of nutrients you need, with the least amount of calories. Look for added values in products like those which contain probiotics to help in digestion and products which contain dietary fiber.