This month is ‘Wear Red Day’, a day designed for all of us to show our support to congenital heart disease by wearing red coloured clothes and accessories.
Congenital heart disease is an overarching term for heart conditions which are developed in the womb. To raise awareness for this day we thought we have highlighted some key red foods along with their associated health benefits. Disclaimer: this post has been written to raise awareness for congenital heart disease, whilst the foods we mention do have health promoting benefits we do encourage a healthy balanced diet containing a range of colours.
Below are a few of our favourite health promoting red foods:
These popular summer berries are a rich source of vitamin C, a key nutrient which plays a role in supporting the immune function. It’s often believed that vitamin C will help to cure a cold although we’re sorry to be the barer of bad news but vitamin C is required over a prolonged period of time to build up a healthy immune function rather than fight off an attacking pathogen.
Cherries are a great source of potassium. Potassium plays a role in helping to lower high blood pressure. Cherry juice is also one of the few independent foods which has been proven to aid sleep. Cherry juice increases the availability of tryptophan, a key amino acid which is required for the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Struggle to get your Zzzs it might be worth trying some cherry juice for the win.
This fruit (yes you read that correctly) are most well known for their lycopene content. Lycopene is a phytochemical (chemicals found naturally in plants) which provides the red colour in tomatoes and has been associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer in men. The bioavailability (amount of the nutrient which is absorbed and utilised) is increased when you combine it with a source of healthy fats. We recommend drizzling some olive oil over your tomato salad.
Apples (both red and green) contain prebiotic fibres which help to feed the good bacteria in your gut. We recommend eating them whole rather than juicing them to ensure you’re getting in all the good stuff! The fibre will also help to slow down the release of the sugar into your blood stream and keep you fuller for longer.
Grapes (red in particular) are a source of resveratrol. Resveratrol is another phytochemical which has been associated with heart health promoting benefits. It’s resveratrol which underpins the associations between red wine and heart health. Although, some research suggests you’d need to drink 40 bottles per day to actually see any benefit (Note: WE DON’T RECOMMEND THAT). Remember though grapes are high in sugar and therefore we recommend you watch your portion size.
It’s all in the name! Watermelon is packed with water which makes it a really great hydration option on those summer days.
Red peppers are rich in vitamin B6, a water-soluble nutrient meaning that it cannot be stored in the body. Vitamin B6 plays a role in carbohydrate metabolism and the synthesis of stress hormones.
Red chilis are rich in Vitamins A and C, two vital immune boosting nutrients. It’s the capsicum in chilis which is commonly associated with increased ‘fat burn’, we’re sorry to let you down but to put it simply there is no evidence to suggest that eating chili (in the moderate amounts which we can handle) will have any affect on your metabolic rate and consequent fat burn.
These powerhouse jewels have been associated with numerous health benefits including heart health and reducing inflammation. They’re also rich in vitamin K, a nutrient which is required for blood clotting.
In light of Wear Red Day to raise awareness for congenital heart disease we are promoting the health benefits of red foods although please remember a healthy diet is one which encompasses a wide range of colours, nutrients, textures and flavours!