This was started on accident. One afternoon a few weeks back I made myself lunch and without intention behind it, put together a bowl of entirely green fruits and vegetables. It also happened to be Monday and discovered the hashtag #monochromaticmonday. Thus started to put together monochromatic bowls of different food on Monday and a new series was born. Through doing this I have discovered so many different varieties of produce that in the past had been overlooked. It also helped me discover that I am a massive creature of habit and buy the same produce week after week.
I am no stranger to the importance of eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies for optimum health but after some reflection and a good scroll down my instagram feed it was easy to see I was eating the same things over and over again. In an effort to mix it up and hopefully inspire others to reach for new foods here is a little tid bit on this weeks featured color: RED
In My Bowl: Red beets, red pepper, red lentil pasta, blood orange, beet and cabbage kimchi, tomatoes, red kidney beans, pickeled red onions, spicy red hummus. And some quinoa that I dyed pink with beet juice (which I know does not count as a red food but if I had red quinoa it would lol, I only had white on hand at the time so bare with me please).
Benefits of Red Food
Red fruits and veggies are loaded with healthy antioxidants but might be best known for lycopene and anthocyanins. Both have been thought to help fight prostate cancer and heart disease and decrease you risk for stroke. Tomatoes are particularly high in lycopene, potassium and vitamic C making them heart healthy and providing protection from breast cancer and prostate cancer. Often overlooked is the vitamin C content in red peppers as well as vitamin A which is great for skin, bones and teeth. Although these can sometimes be the most expensive of the bell peppers, they are worth it for the nutrient density.
Beets are hugely beneficial for the heart as they help relax blood vessels as our bodies break down and metabolize the food. Additionally they are rich in folate, lycopene and anthocyanins. Anthocyanins and other flavornoids are antioxidants that slow oxidative damage they can help with cognitive function as we age. Lentils not only are high in protien but fiber for digestion support and blood sugar regulation. Because low magnesium levels have been associated with heart disease eating lentils, which are high in Magnesium, can help improve blood flow, oxygen and nutrients through out the body.
From eating a variety of red foods you can get some of the following nutrients: lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, fiber, magnesium, folate, anthocyanins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
I hope you enjoyed this post and will reach for more red foods at the farmers market or grocery store this week. Happy Monday.