The Rainbow Diet: Red
Red colored foods are well known for their source of vitamin C, antioxidants such as anthocyanin, and lycopene. Red colored foods are most beneficial in reducing cancer of the prostate, breast, neck, and skin, and improving the immune system.
More specifically, however, red fruits are also very rewarding for athletes. Cherries have relatively more concentrated amounts of melatonin, which helps to regulate the internal clock, and both cherries and pomegranates reduce inflammation, which helps post-exercise soreness and muscle recovery. Also, beetroot’s high concentration of nitrates improves exercise endurance by 16%.
The most interesting of the foods in the red category, though, is the tomato. Though also found in watermelon and pink grapefruit, the tomato has been discovered to have larger amounts of lycopene, which helps to prevent cancer of many forms. It has also been discovered by Italian scientists that the level of lycopene increases in the tomato when it has been cooked, and the intake of this powerful antioxidant is increased when taken with a bit of fat like olive oil. With the intake of large amounts of lycopene, they’ve discovered that people become 33% less prone to sunburn, which may indicate the lycopene increases the skin’s strength against sunlight.
Some foods in this category are: strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, red apples, red grapes, radishes, radicchio, red peppers, red onion, red potatoes, guava, rhubarb, beets, watermelon, red grapefruit, cherries, beetroot, and cranberries.
To incorporate these foods into your diet, you may want to consider smoothies, or adding fruits to your cereal or porridge. Having tomato puree in soups, pastas, stews, and casseroles would also be a delicious experience. In case you want a more specific idea, however, we’ve included a recipe here by foodandwine.com.
Crisp Polenta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- TIME(OTHER): PLUS 2 HR CHILLING
- 8 1/2 cups water
- 6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound polenta (2 3/4 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes on the vine
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, bring the water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook over low heat, whisking, until thick, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Scrape the polenta into the baking dish and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently toss the tomatoes with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet and scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to burst; discard the thyme.
- Meanwhile, turn the polenta out onto a work surface and trim 1/2 inch off all sides. Cut the polenta into 8 rectangles. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Brush both sides of the polenta with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt. Working in 2 batches, cook the polenta over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the polenta to plates and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Arrange the roasted tomatoes over the polenta and serve.
If you would like more information on this topic, please feel free to read these articles:
http://gentleworld.org/phytochemicals-eating-from-the-rainbow/#Health Benefits of: Red Fruits andVeggies