You’ve probably heard that eating the rainbow is a good way to get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and red foods are some that you don’t want to pass up on. There are so many red-hued ingredients that you can use to prepare delicious and nutritious meals that you’ll be happy to share with friends and family. It’s a good idea to eat a varied diet with foods from each food group so that you cover your vitamin and mineral needs. You’ll be doing your health and tongue a favor by loading up on these healthy red foods.
1. Red Peppers
Red bell peppers are one of the best tasting red foods I’ve ever tried. They have a sweeter flavor than a green pepper and can be used in so many ways. Use them to make fajitas, add them to salad or place them on a grilled cheese sandwich. Red peppers have fiber and loads of vitamin C so you know you’re doing your body a favor when you eat them.
Summer is the prime time of year to find fresh cherries, but you can find them frozen all year round. They’re perfect for pies, tarts and smoothies, but you won’t be sorry if you eat them on their own too. Cherries have potassium for a healthy blood pressure and vitamin A for your immunity. They are also loaded with antioxidants that fight free radical damage that can cause health problems from cancer to heart disease.
Tomatoes are a great red food to add your list because you can easily find them year-round and they’re tasty both cooked and raw. Add sliced tomatoes to salads and sandwiches. Dice them for omelets, pasta sauce and vegetable soup. No matter how you eat them, tomatoes are great for getting enough vitamin C, and they are packed with lycopene, a nutrient that experts say can help prevent certain types of cancer.
4. Red Quinoa
You’ve probably heard all the hype about quinoa. It’s a superfood loaded with B vitamins, fiber, protein and iron so you know you can count on it to satisfy a myriad of your nutrient needs. It’s also considered a whole grain, which the USDA recommends as a healthy addition to a well-balanced meal plan. Use red quinoa in place of rice for pilafs or add it to burritos and salads.
I love watermelon when I get really thirsty. It’s mostly water, which means you can eat it to help satisfy your daily liquid quota. It’s also chock full of vitamin C, which you need to protect your immune system and fight off illnesses and diseases from the common cold to cancer. Watermelon also has antioxidants, which are great for your health too.
Beets aren’t beautiful vegetables, but they more than make up for it when it comes to taste and nutrition. They are super low in calories, which makes them perfect for a weight loss meal plan. They also have fiber for healthy digestion and folate, which can help prevent certain types of birth defects. Serve roasted beets as a side dish or make borscht from them.
7. Red Potatoes
Potatoes get a bad rap due to their carb content, but the red skinned variety has plenty of health benefits. They might contain carbs, but your body needs a certain amount of them for energy. Red potatoes taste great roasted, fried or added to stews and soups.
Do you eat red foods? I love all the ones on this list and more. What’s your favorite red food?