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Silver and Gold

Silver and Gold

Ahhhh. . . the colors of the season. . . silver, gold, red and green. They are breathtakingly beautiful, but did you know that, nutritionally speaking, red and green have a lot to offer?

For instance, red foods such as tomatoes, beets, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, watermelon and raspberries are bursting with good-for-you nutrients, including antioxidants such as anthocyanins and lycopene. Antioxidants act as sponges to soak up free radicals in the body, which circulate to wreak havoc on health, including cellular damage, tissue damage and accelerated aging, among other things. These antioxidants may protect us from ill health, including heart disease and cancers while decreasing the risk for stroke and macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness among those who are aged 60 and over.

Red foods have a little something for everyone, too, so let’s look at what reds can do for you in the way of strawberries, cherries, cranberries, watermelon, beets and raspberries. Strawberries are a good source of folate, which supports heart health and is beneficial to women of childbearing years, since it decreases the risk of neural tube defects, a form of birth defects. Packed with the antioxidant vitamin C, strawberries can also support a healthy immune system. Cherries also supply rich amounts of vitamin C and fiber as well as potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure.

Cranberries have been shown to support healthy cells and to kill unhealthy cells in lab studies, while stopping unhealthy bacteria from clinging to the urinary tract. Cranberries may also ward off H. pylori, the bacteria that often leads to stomach ulcers, by keeping it from adhering to the stomach walls and wreaking havoc. In fact, proanthocyanidins are what are found in cranberries that cause this healthy anti-sticking activity.

A good source of potassium and vitamin C, tomatoes also provide lycopene, which is linked to a healthy heart, prostate, blood vessel function and a lowered risk of stroke. Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene. Beets are also good sources of lycopene as well as folate and anthocyanins. Like many other berries, raspberries are packed with antioxidants, and they’re also high in fiber, which supports healthy digestion as well as healthy cholesterol levels.

And let’s not forget about astaxanthin, which gives salmon and other ocean animals or plants their reddish or pinkish color. It’s a powerful antioxidant that keeps inflammation in check and supports a healthy immune system, while fighting neurodegenerative unhealth. It’s often been compared to vitamin D in its health value, and that’s saying a lot.

Now for green. . .  Greens are good for you all year round, but may be “like gold” in value as you head into the winter months when the incidences of heart attacks and strokes increase and when the immune system often needs to be even more resilient. One green, the sea veggie chlorella, is known for its ability to support healthy blood pressure levels and for its vascular benefits, including supporting healthy cholesterol levels. Chlorella also has immune-boosting and detoxification properties to help keep you healthy during times when the immune system may be more challenged from viruses and other unwanted invaders.

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, cereal grasses and others help support immune health, too. In fact, by their strong alkaline content, they help support the body’s natural immunity. They also help support energy levels and foster “good bacteria,” or probiotic, growth in the body. These kinds of greens also provide protein, fiber, enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Be sure to eat your greens organic and raw for the cleanest and healthiest form possible. And mixing your greens into a smoothie is a dynamite way to better absorb all the nutrition greens have to offer.

So, go ahead and admire the silver and gold of the season, but be sure to fill your diet with these amazing reds and greens.

 

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.


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