They say the most colorful foods are the healthiest. Toby Amidor says on this July 4th (and for the rest of the summer), we should be eating foods red, white, and blue. For red, she gives us tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelon:
This juicy relative to cucumbers, squash and pumpkins is 92 percent water. It’s also a good source of the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C. Like tomatoes, watermelon also contains lycopene. One cup of watermelon contains the same amount of this power antioxidant as two medium tomatoes. Although studies have shown the potency of lycopene is enhanced when cooking tomatoes, the same doesn’t hold true for watermelon. You can enjoy the power of this plant chemical by eating fresh watermelon.
Sinking your teeth into a juicy slice or watermelon is one way to relish watermelon. You can also combine it with mint and feta for a refreshing salad, or whip up a watermelon granita.
White is represented by mushrooms and cauliflower:
One cup of this raw vegetable [cauliflower] has 25 calories, 10 percent of your daily recommended amount of fiber and lesser amounts of vitamins C, K, B6 and folate. Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous veggie family (aka cabbage family), and contains several potent cancer-protecting antioxidants, such as glucosinolates, sulforaphanes and thiocynates.
Toss raw chunks of cauliflower in a salad, or make it part of a colorful veggie platter. You can also roast cauliflower or grill large slices for a delightful vegetarian “steak.”
Shopping tip: Choose cauliflower heads that are firm and brightly colored. Store with the stem side up in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Choose heads that are firm, compact and brightly colored. Store stem side up in the refrigerator drawer for five to seven days.
Eggplants and blueberries color your food blue:
One blueberry bush can produce as many as 6,000 blueberries a year. A cup of these round berries have about 84 calories, 4 grams of fiber and are an excellent source of vitamins C and K. They’re also brimming with anthocyanidins, an antioxidant found in foods with a blue and red hue, which may protect against glaucoma and prostate cancer.
Toss a handful of blueberries onto a spinach salad for tanginess, or make a trifle with strawberries, blueberries and a touch of homemade whipped cream.
Shopping tip: Choose blueberries that are firm and brightly colored. Lightly shake the container to check if the berries are moving freely and aren’t stuck to the bottom.
There are other fruits and vegetables — “real” food — that are red, white, and blue. How many others can your kids name? And don’t forget the yellows (squash, corn, yellow bell peppers), the oranges (peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots), and, of course, the greens!