Red & green foods for Christmas

Christmas is here and what better way than celebrate with the season’s most powerful red and green fruits and vegetables...

December 20, 2013

Christmas is here and what better way than celebrate with the season’s most powerful red and green fruits and vegetables. Here are the top picks for nutrition and taste this holiday season.

Cranberries. We all know about cranberries for their protection to our urinary tract, but the benefits of these tart red fruits are much more.  Containing many powerful phytonutrients, cranberries are cancer-preventive; known to extend to cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate. For the cardiovascular system and for many parts of the digestive tract (including the mouth and gums, stomach, and colon) cranberry has been shown to provide important anti-inflammatory benefits. Cranberries are also rich in vitamin C, fiber and manganese.

Swiss chard. Recent research has shown that chard leaves contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including kaempferol, the cardioprotective flavonoid as well as a flavonoid called syringic acid which recent research has demonstrated its blood sugar regulating properties. What about the colors? Many of the betalain pigments (red and yellow) in chard have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Chard is rich in vitamin K, A, C, magnesium, iron, vitamin E, fiber, and more!

Raspberries are not only delicious but are promoters of good health. The anti-cancer benefits of raspberries have long been attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Raspberries are also being studied for their anti obesity and blood sugar regulating properties. These delicious berries are also rich in vitamin C, K, fiber and omega-3s.

Beets contain a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains – which have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.  Recent lab studies using betanin pigments from beets have shown to lessen tumor cell growth through a number of mechanisms, including inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes. Beets are rich in folate, fiber, potassium and iron.

Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants, which provide anti inflammatory and cardiovascular support. In fact if you steam your sprouts they may help to reduce cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids in the digestive tract. Moreover, a recent study has shown improved stability of DNA inside of our white blood cells after daily consumption of 1.25 cups of Brussels sprouts.  Brussels are also cancer protective and rich in vitamin K, C folate, fiber and more.

Pomegranate. Compounds found only in pomegranates called punicalagins are shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagins are the major component responsible for pomegranate's antioxidant and health benefits They not only lower cholesterol, but also lower blood pressure and increase the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away. Generally pomegranates contain potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects. And they may have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis

Resources:
Wh Foods

Dr. Fuhrman

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