With the 4th of July just around the corner, we are all feeling a bit patriotic. It’s a time to watch fireworks light up the sky and celebrate all things red, white and blue. And while it’s easy to show our spirit on the outside, let’s celebrate on the inside as well. There are so many red, white and blue foods that celebrate our health in addition to our patriotism.
Here’s what you should bring to the picnic!
Reds: Many of our red fruits and veggies contain anthocyanins. Not only are these pigments beautiful, they also decrease inflammation and help protect our cells. Many red foods also contain the antioxidant lycopene which may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Drizzle dark chocolate on strawberries, add sweet red pepper to your salad and have that extra slice of watermelon.
Whites: Though white foods may not have that colorful “pop”, many pack a powerful nutritional punch. Our natural white foods contain anthoxanthins, a flavonoid pigment which reduces the risk of stroke and some types of cancer. Healthy whites also contain the phytochemical allicin which has been shown to reduce the risk of stomach cancer and promote heart health. Throw some mushrooms on the grill, cut up cauliflower for your dip and add just a little more garlic to that recipe!
Blues: People who eat purple and blue foods have a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. They also tend to have lower blood pressure and increased circulation. Similar to red foods, blue foods contain anthocyanins which allow us to age more gracefully and improve memory. So don’t forget the blueberries, plums, grapes, figs and eggplant.
Enjoy the fireworks but light up your insides with red, white and blue too! Celebrate the freedom that comes with good health!
Photo credit: http://www.cutefoodforkids.com/2012/05/4th-of-july-party-food-ideas.html