Why Red and Green are So Good For You | Wellness Guides

Why Red and Green are So Good For You

Why Red and Green are So Good For You
Red-and-Green-Produce

Beautiful, festive red and green fruits and veggies are loaded with health promoting nutrients.  Here’s a closer look at why you should fill your plate and glass with some red and green goodness this holiday.

RED

Lycopene, a phytonutrient that lends a red hue to produce like pomegranatetomato and watermelon is an important antioxidant and member of the carotene family, like its more well-known relative beta-carotene.  Consuming lots of lycopene is linked to a reduced risk for prostate cancer.

Many red fruits like bell peppersstrawberries and raspberries are high in super immune booster, vitamin C, which also acts to promote healthy, strong skin as well as fight off those cold germs.  Pomegranates are the third highest fruit source of antioxidants.

Ellagic acid found in strawberries may help reduce the risk of certain cancers like breast cancer. Raspberries also contain potassium, niacin, and some iron as well as vitamin C.

Cherries are champions of anti-inflammation helping to ease joint pain.  Cranberries are high in antioxidants, particularly proanthocyanidins, which are known for supporting overall health.

Numerous studies have shown that beets can help oxygenate blood and enhance exercise performance. Beets are a good source of folic acid, and also contain vitamins A, C, choline, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, and fiber. Don’t forget to eat or juice those beet greens! The greens have even more iron than Popeye’s favorite veggie.

Watermelon contains vitamin A and C, as well as iron and potassium. Potassium rich fruits and vegetables are known for helping to keep blood pressure in check.  Their high water content makes them ideal for juicing.

GREENS

Magnesium rich green leafy vegetables help with nerve conduction, ease muscle cramps, and support metabolism to name a few.  Many are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, best known for their potent liver detoxification promotion and cancer fighting phytonutrients.

Kale is a wonder vegetable! It has the highest vegetable source of vitamin K and may help the risk of developing certain cancers. It’s a fantastic source of calcium, chlorophyll, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. Kale is low calorie and yet incredibly dense with nutrients. It’s also a good source of minerals, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus, as well as compounds which promote eye and skin health.

Many green veggies are also a great source of vitamin C. There are more in kiwifruit than an orange! Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy.

Honeydew has potassium which can help to lower blood pressure and prevent muscle cramps from electrolyte imbalance.

Cucumbers contain potassium and phytosterols which can help lower cholesterol. They’re high in water, which make them great for juicing. Cucumbers are especially cooling, whether consumed in juice form or placed on the skin. Consume the dark green skin to get a boost of chlorophyll, but make sure the skin isn’t waxed.

Looking for more great green ideas for your next juice, smoothie, snack or meal?  Check out some of these superstars!  Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Spinach, Zucchini, Green apple, Green cabbage or Celery.

Check out these delicious recipes for more ideas!
Butternut squash, Pomegranate & Pistachio Quinoa Salad 
Fresh Veggie Enchilladas
Hail to Kale Salad
Holly Jolly Juice
Crazy for Cranberries Juice
Sweet and Sour Juice
A Green Vanilla Shake
Cold Busting Berry Smoothie

Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN is a Board-Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and senior clinical nutritionist for Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Cancer Care, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston. Stacy created and serves as project manager and lead writer for Nutrition Services content on the award-winning, Dana-Farber website and affiliated Nutrition app. Her app and cancer video series have been featured in popular press and industry magazines. Stacy is regularly featured in TV, radio, podcasts, documentary films and print media. Stacy teaches nutrition at Simmons College. She co-founded her private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC and works as a nutrition consultant and advisor for numerous businesses and non-profit organizations in the health, wellness, food and technology spaces.  She is former Chief Wellness Officer and currently sits as an Advisor for AVA, a tech-nutrition startup leveraging artificial intelligence for meal tracking, planning & expert nutrition coaching. She is featured in Lighter, the plant-based nutrition-tech tool for meal planning. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. Stacy received a B.S. in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her Dietetic Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She enjoys yoga, running, cooking and caring for her husband, sons and dogs.