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Red Fruits & Vegetables Are Packed With Amazing Health Benefits

As a food book rule, red-coloured foods are more concentrated in nutrients. The bright hue of red-coloured fruits and vegetables help in turning carbohydrates, proteins and fats into usable energy for the body. They are also loaded with powerful and heart-healthy antioxidants such as anthocyanins, lycopene, flavonoids and resveratrol.

These antioxidants have a potent ability to fight against heart disease and prostate cancer and also decrease the risk of stroke and macular degeneration.

List Of Red-coloured Foods

Below is a list of red-coloured fruits and vegetables:

Red fruits

1. Cranberries
2. Pomegranates
3. Cherries
4. Blood oranges
5. Raspberries
6. Strawberries
8. Red apples
9. Red grapes
10. Red grapefruit
11. Red pears
12. Tomatoes
13. Guava

Red vegetables

1. Red bell peppers
2. Red kidney beans
3. Red peppers
4. Beetroot
5. Red radishes
6. Red onions
7. Red potatoes
8. Rhubarb

Why Are Red-coloured Foods Good For You?

Whole red-coloured foods are naturally low-calorie and low-sodium foods. The foods are an excellent source of a carotenoid called lycopene which provides these foods a red hue. Lycopene has been shown to help protect against lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, colon cancer and oesophagus cancer.

Antioxidants like anthocyanins, lycopene, flavonoids and resveratrol found in red-coloured vegetables and fruits have been shown to help fight cancer and heart disease, improve eyesight and reduce blood pressure, inflammation and macular degeneration.

According to the National Cancer Institute, 95 per cent of adults don't include enough red and orange-coloured vegetables in their diet.

What Are The Nutrients Present In Red-coloured Foods?

1. Red tomatoes

Tomatoes are considered as fruits and contain high levels of lycopene which is known to help fight prostate cancer, oesophagus cancer and colon cancer. Lycopene is mostly found in cooked tomato products like soups, stews and tomato sauce.

2. Strawberries

Strawberries are a good source of folate, potassium and vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse which boosts the functioning of the immune system and lowers your bad cholesterol. About 1 serving of strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange.

3. Cranberries

Cranberries may help prevent UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) by stopping the bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls. It may also provide protection against H pylori, a bacteria from sticking to the stomach walls and causing stomach ulcers. This is possible due to the presence of a powerful antioxidant called proanthocyanidin found in cranberries.

4. Cherries

The deep red colour of cherries highlights their nutritional content. The anthocyanins in cherries give them their dark red colour. These anthocyanins protect your body against damage from free radicals and environmental toxins that speed up your ageing process and also cause cell death and damage.

5. Raspberries

Raspberries are rich in fibre which helps lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. Raspberries also have considerable amounts of zinc, niacin, potassium and a wide range of polyphenolic phytochemicals which are lignans, tannins, phenolic acids and flavonoids.

6. Red bell pepper

Red bell peppers are an excellent choice for the healthy functioning of the immune system. These contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, folate and have only 30 calories.

7. Red kidney beans

Red kidney beans contain loads of heart-healthy fibre, zinc that supports reproductive health and heals wounds and B vitamins which promote neurological function. These legumes also contain potassium and folate.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon is a great source of lycopene which may decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke by decreasing LDL cholesterol. The red-coloured fruit decreases the risk of prostate cancer and macular degeneration.

9. Beetroot

Beetroots are one of the best antioxidant vegetables, according to the USDA. These vegetables are an excellent source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, nitrates and folate. These nutrients play a major role in lowering blood pressure, boosting athletic endurance and improving blood flow.

10. Red radishes

Radishes are a good source of potassium, folate, vitamin C, lycopene, anthocyanins, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K and dietary fibre. All these nutrients are required to keep your body in good working condition.

11. Red apples

Red apples are rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre and flavonoids. The antioxidants play a key role in reducing the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

12. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants which aid in preventing cancer, especially prostate cancer. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body and prevent oxidative stress and damage.

Ways To Add Red-coloured Foods In Your Diet

  • Raspberries and strawberries can be together made into a berry smoothie.
  • Drink unsweetened cranberry juice in the morning.
  • Add red peppers, radishes and red onions in your salads.
  • Add tomato purée or chopped tomatoes into your cooking.
  • Snack on cherries when hunger strikes you.
  • Have a bowl of tomato soup for dinner.
  • To your morning breakfast cereal or porridge, add a handful of strawberries, raspberries or cherries.

RELATED: Reasons You Should Be Eating More Purple Fruits & Vegetables

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Story first published: Monday, August 27, 2018, 18:00 [IST]
Read more about: foods red health benefits
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