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Succulent & Seductive Red Foods

15 May, 2020

We can be so grateful that there is a wide variety of health promoting red foods available to us at any given time. Red foods? Think strawberries, red apples, cherries, pomegranate, red onions, beetroot, plums, red sweet potato, radishes, bell pepper, tomatoes, watermelon, rooibos tea, etc. Each of these foods are crammed with phytonutrients helpful in the fight against inflammation as well as cancer. These phytonutrients are also incredible in promoting the health of our vascular system, our immune system, the health of our brain, liver, heart, all the way down to our cells.

So, let us delve a little deeper into the nutritional status of two of these superstars...

⭐️ Strawberries... these nutritional powerhouses are an all-round superfood! Packed with Vitamins A, B-complex, C and E and the minerals iron, manganese, and zinc, they are rich in life-giving antioxidants - amazing for rebuilding, repairing, and rejuvenating our bodies. Their anti-inflammatory compounds make them hugely beneficial for those suffering from autoimmune conditions. Strawberries contain numerous phytonutrients, one of them being fisetin which has anti-cancer, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other phytonutrients include ellagic acid and flavonoids – both of which help your body to function more efficiently whilst protecting it against everyday toxins and stressors. Did you know that strawberries are also well-known for being beneficial for our eye health as we age? Low in calories whilst high in vital nutritional compounds, strawberries are therefore also a fantastic weight loss food!

⭐️ Radishes... the phrase “food as medicine” certainly applies to radishes! These unique cruciferous vegetables have two extremely beneficial components: 1. the root (the part that we automatically think of when picturing a radish) – a potent immune boosting vegetable which not only plays an effective role in the fight against parasites but is excellent for our cardiovascular health by helping to clean out our arteries and veins, preventing plaque build-up; and 2. the radish greens – often thrown away, the leaves are said to be the second most powerful prebiotic in existence! Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and cancer-fighting compounds, as well as antibacterial and antiviral properties, the radish leaves, act as a powerful digestive enzyme helping to repair a damaged colon and other parts of the intestinal tract that have lost the ability to absorb nutrients. Did you know that radish greens have even been said to help the body rid itself of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic and aluminium!

So, how can we get more of these & other beneficial red foods into our daily meals?

❤️ Strawberries can be added to just about anything and make it a delicious meal, i.e. smoothies, fruit salads, a perfect snack on their own and even mixed green salads! As strawberries fall on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list in that they are exposed to toxic pesticides, always try to buy organic produce. If for whatever reason this is not possible, wash your strawberries well with a bicarb/water solution. 

❤️ Radishes, together with celery and onions make a potent healing broth said to be particularly beneficial for helping to ease the symptoms associated with bronchitis and pneumonia. 

❤️ Tomatoes make a delicious Arrabbiata sauce – a perfect addition to any vegetable or pasta dish, meat too if that is your preference. Check out the recipe I posted to my Facebook page in August last year! 

❤️ Bell peppers blended with tomatoes, a garlic clove, scallions (or chives as an alternative option), and a few finely chopped fresh basil leaves make a delicious raw soup. Top this with some avocado and you have a energising, light, yet nutritious meal! 

❤️ Pomegranate seeds are so versatile they can be sprinkled on just about any meal, i.e. on salads, on stir-fries, and even added to your favourite hummus.