Fitness Tips: February 1, 2017

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Healthy Lifestyle Tip: 11 Red Vegetables with Health Benefits

Red vegetables, like tomatoes and peppers, may help reduce the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, and high cholesterol. The phytonutrients that give these ruby beauties their color also come with powerful health benefits. Deeper colors, like the dark hue of beetroot, usually means that the vegetable is richer in these phytonutrients, which include antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients have been shown to help prevent cancer, fight chronic illnesses, and strengthen the immune system.

Red vegetables get their hue and nutrition boost from lycopene and anthocyanin. Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce heart disease risk, protect the eyes, and fight infections. Researchers are also studying its potential protection against prostate cancer and other tumors.

Anthocyanins are believed to protect the liver, improve eyesight, and reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Despite their benefits, 95 percent of adults don't get enough red and orange vegetables, per the National Cancer Institute.

Here are 11 healthy red foods to help you get your fill:
  • Beets
  • Radicchio
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Red Onion
  • Radishes
  • Red Potatoes
  • Red Chili Peppers  

Red vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Include them daily, but don't forget to eat the whole rainbow. According to the Department of Agriculture, people who eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of some chronic diseases.

Be sure to eat the skins of vegetables to get their cancer-fighting phytochemicals and all their nutrients. While there are supplements available for many of these phytochemicals like lycopene, research has shown that these are not as effective. Eat the whole vegetable to get the benefits.