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Red Foods: The New Health Powerhouses?

From strawberries to beets, red fruits and vegetables pack a vibrant nutritional punch.

Red Food: Beets

In season: June through October, but available year-round

Benefits: A root vegetable, "beets are rich in folate, lycopene, and anthocyanins," Pappo says. 

Another powerful antioxidant, anthocyanins "are not just present in red foods, but also blue and purple foods as red and blue makes purple."

Get more by: Adding some beets to add color to plates as a side dish or in salads, soup, or stew.

Choose Foods for Every Color in Rainbow

Ask any child and he or she will tell you that the colors of the rainbow are (R)ed, (O)range, (Y)ellow, (G)reen (B)lue, (I)ndigo and  (V)iolet.

There is more to a healthy diet than red foods, Pappo says. "I recommend choosing foods for every color in the rainbow," she says. "The deeper, the darker, and the richer the color, the better," she says. "Aim for nine a day, and have one from every color group."

Remember that it's always better to eat whole foods than take supplements of specific nutrients, Pappo says. "Eat your nutrients, don't pop them," she tells WebMD. "It's the combination of everything in these red foods, not just one miracle nutrient."

Reviewed on April 01, 2008

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