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Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Splash of red in diet can improve health

March 21, 2007

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Other red foods

¢ Red apples¢ Beets¢ Blood oranges¢ Cherries¢ Cranberries¢ Pomegranates¢ Raspberries¢ Red grapes¢ Red onions¢ Red potatoes¢ Ruby red grapefruit¢ WatermelonFor more about eating healthy colors, go to www.pbhfoundation.org.

Red is the color of love and of good health, too.

Add red to your plate, and you're adding the phytochemicals lycopene and anthocyanin. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring protective components found in plants, believed to contribute to both plant health and human health.

Lycopene is found in tomatoes, particularly cooked tomatoes. It is thought to play a role in protecting the body from different forms of cancer, including cancer of the cervix, colon, bladder, stomach and prostate. Lycopene also promotes heart health, keeping your cardiovascular system running well.

Anthocyanins, found in red foods such as apples and in red wines, might be responsible for improving cardiovascular health as well.

Add splashes of red to your plate and truly take care of those you love.

Red pepper: Blend strips or dices of red pepper into a pasta dish, slice it plain and serve it as an appetizer with a tasty dip, or stuff a pepper with the tomato, rice, corn and cheese mixture offered here.

Radicchio: How about going the route of the exotic with your true love? Brush some radicchio leaves, or chicory, with olive oil before grilling them, or wrap medallions of goat cheese with the beautiful crimson leaves, and then grill the bundles for a tangy appetizer.

Radicchio, the bitter-tasting, reddish, burgundy cousin of endive, is gaining popularity among nutritionists because of research that shows its high capacity for absorbing oxygen-free radicals, or the substances naturally produced in our bodies that can attack and damage healthy cells. (For more information, visit radicchio.com.

Radicchio has been shown to have as much punch against free radicals as blueberries and strawberries, two other super foods touted for their healing qualities.

Strawberries: Eat them plain, drop them in champagne, or fold them into this peach and strawberry sauce and spoon its peachy-red splendor over a piece of homemade pound cake.

Add red to your palate, and you're on your way to improving your health and the health of those you love.

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