5 Yummy Super Nutrient Packed Red Foods!

Next time you are at the groceries look for the color red! These are my 5 favorite red foods that I recommend you eat regularly to boost your heart health, protect your skin, and reduce risks for cancer.

There are lots of fruits and vegetables that are red which are packed with a variety of nutrients. Many red kinds of produce contain lycopene which is high in tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, etc.  This is known to help reduce your risk of cancer (especially prostate). Also, many contain vitamins A and C which may help to prevent heart disease. Eat these 5 red fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

1. CHERRIES
A cup of cherries is 73 calories. Cherries have some of the highest antioxidant contents out of any fruit. Throw these in your oatmeal, bake into a healthy crisp or have in a parfait. The frozen versions are just as healthy as the fresh ones so feel free to stock up on those! Cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C and E, folate and iron. Tart cherries are nutrient packed too and help with inflammation.

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2. RED PEPPERS
Along with other kinds of bell peppers, red peppers are packed with nutrients. One serving of red peppers has 157% of your daily vitamin C, 16% vitamin B6, 16% vitamin A and 11% folate. They are packed full of carotenoids which actually increase along with vitamin C when allowed to ripen. After purchasing peppers, the vitamin C content continues to increase over 10 days. Eat red peppers raw with hummus, in a stir-fry, or cooked into a stuffed bell pepper soup.

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3. STRAWBERRIES
Although strawberries taste sweet, they are one of the lowest calorie fruits. One cup has only 48 calories and 140% of your daily vitamin C. They have ellargic acid which binds cancer causing chemicals making them inactive. Strawberries are also rich in quercetin and kaempferol which helps to keep your LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) down. Toss strawberries in a smoothie, on a spinach salad or dice them up in baked goods.

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4. WATERMELON
Watermelon is in season in the summer but is available in many places year round. Watermelon is another lower-calorie fruit with only 48 calories per cup. It is rich in potassium which is beneficial for athletes for helping to prevent muscle cramping. It is also rich in vitamins A, C and B6. It contains 4 times the amount of lycopene as tomatoes. Have watermelon on its own, in a watermelon feta salad or in a strawberry watermelon smoothie.

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5. APPLES
Apples are available year round and are a versatile fruit. A large apple has around 110 calories. They are rich in fiber with about 5 grams per apple and contain flavanoids. Apples are known to help lower cholesterol and prevent kidney stones. Cook apples into your oatmeal for healthy apple cinnamon oats. Have on a salad with pecans and homemade vinaigrette. Roast up some apples with your favorite root vegetables and chicken for a savory apple dish.

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