I love getting into holiday spirits. With Independence Day just a couple of days away, I have been thinking about my favorite red, white and blue foods and why I love them so much. I cannot resist sharing them with you, so let me get this secret out.
My Favorite Red Foods
If you have already read my strawberry blog, you know that I love strawberries. Jam-packed with vitamin C, I love having them in my smoothies, salads, and as a simple, healthy snack.
I also love cherries and cherry juice. I recommend cherries to endurance athletes often because research has shown that they can reduce muscle soreness after intense cardiovascular workouts. Cherries also reduce inflammation and pain for those who have arthritis. High in potassium, cherries are also useful for regulating blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. The phytosterols in cherries help reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels so all in all, cherries are awesome for your heart!
I’m not done with my favorite reds yet. I love beets! Beets have antioxidants that are great for detoxification. If you have a juicer, they’re a great veggie choice to use. One of my favorite detox juice combinations is beet, celery, cucumber, ginger, and apple. They also have a high amount of folate, which is great for boosting energy levels. Their antioxidants are also known to help reduce inflammation.
My Favorite White Foods
Greek yogurt is by far, my all-time favorite white food. In just one cup of Greek yogurt, you get around 20 grams of protein—how awesome is that?! Toss in a handful of walnuts and some chopped fruit and having this for breakfast keeps me energized throughout the entire morning and is a great foundation for making healthy choices throughout the rest of the day.
Another white food I absolutely love is quinoa. It cooks faster than rice and it has all essential amino acids, making it a wonderful vegan protein choice. It is also high in minerals, B vitamins, and fiber.
Last but not least, I love cannellini beans. They are high in fiber, a pretty good protein choice and they are so delicious in salads and soups.
My Favorite Blue Foods
There aren’t many blue foods that you can think of are there, but oh what we would be missing if we didn’t have blueberries. It’s blueberry season, so please indulge. The phytonutrients in blueberries are phenomenal.
First, let me tell you about ellagic acid. Ellagic acid encourages a healthy rate of apoptosis—how the body seeks out and destroys harmful or damaged cells, like cancer cells.
Blueberries also contain salicylic acid—the natural version of aspirin. Salicylic acid is known to thin the blood and reduce pain.
Lutein is another powerful phytonutrient that blueberries are loaded with. This phytonutrient is particularly helpful when it comes to your vision. The Eyecare Trust, a national charity devoted to raising awareness of eye health, says, ‘There is increasing evidence to show that eating vegetables containing lutein is crucial to maintaining pigment density levels in the macula.’ In other words, lutein can help prevent macular degeneration.