Nature has endowed us with a variety of fruits and vegetables that come in various colours, which provide us with different benefits. Fruits and vegetables that are red in colour are referred to as “red foods”. These fruits and vegetables contain two main free radical eliminating antioxidants: Anthocyanin and Lycopene, which protects against various types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. There are many studies which show that lycopene increase the skin's ability to resist the effects of UV light. In other words, it acts like the body’s internal sunscreen. There have been studies about Anthocyanin which shows that it reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and helps in the prevention of macular degeneration, which is associated directly with free radicals. Below are some fruits and vegetables that fall under the category of “red foods”.
• Tomatoes are rich in lycopene. They may be eaten chilled or as a snack. It can also stir-fried with a little bit of olive oil so it can be better absorbed by the body.
• Watermelons are a refreshing fruit which is rich in vitamin C and lycopene. It is made up of a lot of water and this is where the sweetness of the fruit lies. Watermelons contain carbohydrates that are converted to sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream. However, because the watermelon is made up largely of water, the carbohydrates are not that high and the watermelon’s glycemic load is low. This fruit cannot make you fat, if eaten in moderation.
• Strawberries are a source of vitamin C and folic and are rich in antioxidants. Strawberries are great for skin, eyes, heart, and prostate gland and help to slow down the aging process. Strawberries do not contain large amounts of sugar and can be eaten without feeling guilty!
• Cherries fight inflammation (inflammation is a cause of aging) and are high in potassium. It benefits people who have high blood pressure (but is not recommended for people suffering from kidney diseases).
• Red bell peppers are a rich source of vitamins A and C. In addition to adding it to salads, it can also be stir-fried with various meat, steamed and eaten with chili paste and diced and fried with eggs.
• Raspberries stimulate the function of enzymes which helps the body to dissolve fat. It is an ideal fruit to eat instead of other snacks while you are on a diet.
We should be serious about eating food that benefits the body. Health-conscious people, who do not feel that they are getting adequate antioxidants from the food they eat, should consult with a physician who specializes with vitamin and dietary supplements.
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