Wellness Blog

Can’t Beat Beets: Up Your ‘Reds’ Intake for Better Health

Posted by Ian D. Ravensdale

July 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM

Most people have a favourite colour, or at least one that’s more visually agreeable to their eye as compared to others. It’s suggested that people who would choose black, for instance, are supposed to be more artistic and sensitive, while choosing white is for those who are especially organized and logical. If yellow’s tops for you then you will apparently enjoy learning and sharing your knowledge with others.

Where I’m going with this might not be easy to determine, but I’ll try to make some sense of it. If your favourite colour is red – and you believe in the suggestion that there is in fact a connection between psyches and favourite colours - you will be more tenacious and determined. If that’s the case, go ahead and be determined to see plenty of your favourite colour in your diet.

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Deeply red fruits and vegetables are tremendous for making your body much more resistant to disease and degenerative conditions. That’s because they’re loaded with specific phytonutrients that slow aging, reduce inflammation, detoxify the blood & liver, promote gut health, increase energy, and more.

We’re going to proceed to list specific fruits and vegetables that are blessed with plenty of these phytonutrients, but before we do we’ll advise you that the best way to get the benefits of antioxidants in red fruits and vegetables is to eat them whole, but in lieu of that you can mix plenty Prairie Naturals Red Superfoods powder into your beverages, mixes, dressings, or soup bases. It contains organic beet root, organic pomegranate fruit, organic goji berry fruit and many more select ingredients.

Alright - the names of these phytonutrient champions? Anthocyanins and Lycopene.

Anthocyanins are flavonoids (class of phytonutrients) that protect the liver, improve eyesight, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and decrease risk of brain disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Lycopene is a carotenoid (class of phytonutrient) that reduces heart disease risk, protects the eyes, fights infections, and even protects against damage from tobacco smoke. Some research suggests it can protect against prostate cancer and other tumours too.

The Best Red Fruits and Vegetables for Antioxidant Support

1. Beets

Beets and pomegranates are pretty much neck and neck for top spot here. Beets are unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, and 2 specific types of betalains – betanin and vulgaxanthin – are found in high concentrations in beets. They provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification in a big way, and in particular they promote optimal production of glutathione, the body’s primary detoxifier.

Note; Betalains in beets undergo degradation and become less potent when cooked for a long period of time. The recommendation is that you should roast them for no more than an hour, steam them for 15 minutes of less, or - better yet -  cut them up fresh into a salad and get maximum effect!

2. Pomegranate

Pomegranates are equally as potent as an antioxidant fruit. They contain 2 unique phytochemicals; punicalgins, which are found in the juice and peel of the pomegranate. Among other benefits, they work to lower risk of heart disease by protecting LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation. This oxidation is one of the key processes in the development of heart disease. They also lower blood pressure, combat arthritis and decrease the severity of joint pain.

Punicic acid (also called pomegranate seed oil) is the second one. It’s a fatty acid (conjugated linoleic acid to be exact) with real bio-boost potency, notably for reducing inflammation in the digestive tract AND increasing your resistance to it, along with promoting the reduction of breast, prostate and colon cancer cells.

3. Goji Berry

Also known as Chinese Wolfberry or Mede Berry, Goji berry fruit makes up the third point of our mega-antioxidant triumvirate. In addition to all its anthocyanins, they features 18 essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, plus linoleic acid, selenium, germanium, and large quantities of beta carotene. In addition to making your body more of lean mean detoxifying machine, they also improve neurologic / psychologic traits, support better gastrointestinal health and bowel function, improve musculoskeletal structure and cardio health, treat diabetes symptoms, hypertension, and mediate depression.

Impressive indeed!

4. Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage delivers many of the same antioxidant benefits as the 3 preceding it here, but it also has been seen to have a particular capacity to protect cognitive function of the brain. Specifically, that means it can be a natural way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is caused when plaques form on the cells of the brain, but the anthocyanin formula in red cabbage reduces the occurrence of them. Further, red cabbage contains a large quantity of glutamine, an amino acid that can reduce the severity of gastrointestinal ulcers.

5.Cranberries

Cranberries are chock full of anthocyanins, but they also have other constituents that make them effective as a natural way to treat urinary tract infections. Namely, these are proanthocyanidins that acts as a barrier to bacteria that otherwise might latch onto the urinary tract lining. Like the others, they’re great cancer preventers too, but perhaps even more so because they block expression of MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases) and inhibition of specific type of enzyme required for cancerous cell growth.

6.Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are an excellent source of lycopene which – like anthocyanins – fights free radicals generated from environmental toxins. Like a very metropolitan urban life? Incorporate red bell peppers into your meals, generously and often (orange bell peppers are good too) as you’ll be much more exposed to environmental toxins than someone who lives more rurally.

Or – again – as a more convenient option you can mix Red Superfood Powder into pretty much anything you like to make sure you’re getting those some protective benefits.

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7.Red Onion

Red onion gets the last mention in our list here today because it combines anthocyanins with organosulfur, a phytochemical compound that improve the immune system, reduces cholesterol production, and protects the liver.

One last mention before we get the recipe; you will benefit more extensively from ingesting these foods and their phytonutrients if your digestive system is working optimally. Many older people have low stomach acid levels, and this inhibits the extent to which you can break down foods and synthesize their nutrients. Prairie Naturals Betaine HCI is an excellent choice to promote better stomach acid production.

Berry-Pomegranate Smoothie:

1 cup frozen mixed berries

½ ripe banana

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

¼ cup pomegranate juice

1 teaspoon Red Superfood powder

1 teaspoon maple syrup, optional

1 scoop whey powder

Combine all ingredients together in a blender except whey powder and blend on high speed until smooth. Add whey powder and mix on low speed just until blended. Serve immediately.

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Topics: Vitamins and Minerals, Diet, detox, cleanse, Body, Organics

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