The health of the heart, brain health, anti-aging action are just some of the beneficial properties of red fruits and vegetables. Let’s discover together the virtues that this color brings with it.
In addition to color, red fruits and vegetables have in common a whole series of beneficial properties. After all, to understand how careful nature is in providing us with everything necessary to live in health, it would be enough to turn our gaze to the earth or to a market stall. And it is with a chromatic impact, worthy of the best artist, that it provides us with a series of active ingredients, hidden in foods as simple as they are precious.
The 5 colors of food
So we just have to associate a function with each color, so as to enrich our diet, as well as art and imagination also with many small healthy elements. To simplify, we can thus classify fruits and vegetables by color:
Blue / purple fruits and vegetables: valuable sources of anthocyanins, antioxidant substances with a protective function against the urinary tract, the nervous system, and the cardiovascular system.
Green fruits and vegetables: rich in chlorophyll but also in bioactive carotenoids and glycosides, able to protect cells from aging and from the dreaded oncological diseases. Furthermore, the presence of Vitamin K makes these vegetables very useful in protecting the bone tissue.
Fruit and white vegetables: able to give our body, thanks to the presence of flavonoids and sulfur compounds, a cardioprotective and cholesterol-lowering activity.
Yellow/orange fruits and vegetables: main sources of carotenoids and vitamin C, useful for protecting our body from oxygen free radicals, aging, or for example from the carcinogenic action of ultraviolet rays.
Red fruits and vegetables: ideal for supporting cardiovascular and neurological function, thanks to the presence of substances such as anthocyanins and very powerful flavonoids such as lycopene.
Among the various colors, for the different shades and for the intensity, red definitely stands out. Source of numerous active ingredients, including anthocyanins, lycopene, vitamin C: red fruit, and vegetables would seem to support numerous organic functions. Here are some concrete examples:
Cranberries, a panacea for the protective urogenital function. In addition to their strong antioxidant activity, they help protect the urinary system from recurrent, often annoying, infections.
Strawberries, cherries, and red plums, very rich in vitamin C and fiber capable of supporting intestinal function.
Watermelon: as precious as it is tasty, it provides, in addition to very large quantities of water, an amino acid known as Citrulline, with protective activity against the heart and blood vessels;
Black grapes: queen fruit of antioxidants, which thanks to the very high anthocyanin content is a panacea for the cardiovascular system and our nervous system.
Like fruit, red vegetables also hide very interesting biological properties, in some cases almost therapeutic. Among the most popular, we will certainly find:
Tomatoes, very rich in lycopene, a thermostable active ingredient, and therefore able to withstand high temperatures, scientifically highly appreciated both for its antioxidant and anti-tumor properties.
Peppers red, a valuable source of Vitamin C and carotenoids, therefore very useful in cell protection from damage induced by reactive oxygen species.
Red chicory, known for its antioxidant properties, is also able to support the immune system and protect the cardiovascular system.
The same, thanks also to the presence of precious mineral salts, would guarantee a rehydrating effect. The cardioprotective and vasoprotective properties are very appreciated.
Properties and contraindications of bitter red vegetables
Loving but … full of virtues: vegetables such as radishes, rhubarb, onions, or red cabbage hide valuable benefits behind their pungent taste. The numerous antioxidants, partly responsible for this characteristic flavor, in fact, give the bitter red vegetables interesting properties such as:
- draining properties, useful in contributing to the removal of excess toxins;
- laxative properties, essential in preserving correct intestinal function;
- anti-dyspeptic properties, valuable in helping to facilitate digestive events.
However, when fermenting, they could cause minor intestinal annoyances and discomfort, therefore we always recommend not to overdo the quantities.
In order to take full advantage of all the properties of the red color, it will be advisable to enrich one’s diet with these fruits and vegetables constantly. In addition to the classic snacks, which depending on the season, will see fruit as the protagonist, we could also use small tricks. For example, to enrich salads or rather breakfasts with small berries, such as dehydrated goji or raisins, add mixed vegetables, raw peppers, and blood orange to our side dish.
It will be precisely in daily use that these foods will be able to carry out their maximum nutraceutical effectiveness.