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Red Food is Good Food

Updated on December 18, 2013

Red Food is Good Food

Everyone knows that beige food is not only boring but bad for you. So with this in mind why not paint your diet RED because red food is good food

Why? Well red fruits and vegetable contain anthocyanins (as do blue, pink and purple ones) and anthocyanins are known to protect the human body against a wide variety of diseases.

By Pancrat (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Pancrat (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

What exactly are Anthocyanins?

Anthocyanins are part of a group of phytochemicals (plant based compounds that may affect health), called flavonoids. It is these that give the food the red colour. There are hundreds of types of anthocyanin - petunidin, malvidin, delphinidin, peonidin, cyanidin and pelargonidin are a few of the main ones. They have excellent anti-oxidant properties and are anti-inflammatory in nature. These flavonoids have been reported to improve cognitive function and protect against Parkinson’s disease in the elderly as well as many other health benefits such as diabetes and cancer prevention. Because they seldom, if ever act individually and generally depend on interaction with other components it is very difficult to define exactly what and how anthocyanins protect against certain human conditions. Better then to look at the individual effects of foods containing the compound.

By User:Fir0002 (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By User:Fir0002 (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
Cherries | Source
Guavas | Source

Which foods contain these flavonoids?


  • Raspberries
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Red Grapes
  • Red Plums
  • Guava
  • Red fleshed Peaches (Big Red)
  • Pomegranates
  • Strawberries
  • Loganberries
  • Lingonberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Red apples
  • Watermelon
  • Lychees
  • Blood Oranges
  • Ruby Grapefruit
  • Dragon Fruit

By T.Voekler (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By T.Voekler (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
Red Cabbage
Red Cabbage | Source


  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • Red Onions
  • Red Peppers (Bell Peppers)
  • Beetroot
  • Red Chilli Peppers
  • Pink Daicon (Japanese Vegetable)
  • Radishes
  • Red fleshed Potatoes
  • Radicchio (Red Chicory)
  • Rhubarb (Yes, it is a vegetable!)
  • Swiss chard
  • Red Corn
  • Hibiscus flowers

Beetroot | Source
Hibiscus Flower
Hibiscus Flower | Source
By Eric Hill from Boston, MA, USA (Blood Orange) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Eric Hill from Boston, MA, USA (Blood Orange) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
Mariluna [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons CRANBERRIES
Mariluna [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons CRANBERRIES | Source
Loganberry  Photo by david.nikonvscanon
Loganberry Photo by david.nikonvscanon | Source

Individual Health Benefits of Red Fruit and Vegetables – The list is not exhaustive


Blood Oranges
Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol accumulation prevention and reduction
Arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout and musculo-skeletal pain prevention. Cancer, diabetes, insomnia, headache prevention.
Protection from urinary tract infection, tooth cavities, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, cholesterol, bacterial infection and possibly ulcers caused by the Helicobacter bacteria.
Dragon Fruit
Reportedly lowers blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure, boosts the metabolism and improves the memory
Treats diarrhoea, anti-ageing properties, cancer prevention
Improve blood pressure, digestive problems including gastric ulcers, boost good cholesterol levels, and alleviate rheumatic pain
Good for constipation, prevent several cancers – breast, prostate, lung, skin and stomach. Protect against colds and flu and cure gout and improve autoimmune disorders. They have also been reported to help with depression and anxiety.
Anti-cancer properties, improved cardiovascular function, reduction in fatigue, immune system strengthening, pain relief, helps prevent optical and nerve damage in diabetic patients and improves skin health.

LYCHEES  By Nakib Ahmed (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
LYCHEES By Nakib Ahmed (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
Pomegranate Close up Attribution Licence Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Pomegranate Close up Attribution Licence Fir0002/Flagstaffotos | Source
By Paolo Neo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Paolo Neo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
By Editor at Large (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Editor at Large (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
By Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg: א (Aleph) derivative work: — raeky (talk (Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg: א (Aleph) derivative work: — raeky (talk (Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source


Lower the incidence of breast and prostate cancers, heart disease, blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol. Useful in weight control and good at fighting cell damage. Some studies have shown encouraging results in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.


Useful for weight management. Prevention of cervical, prostate, breast and oesophageal cancers, diabetes, blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

Red Apples

Blood sugar control, prevention of lung cancer and asthma, inflammation (especially of the cardiovascular system), macular degeneration and slowing of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease

Red fleshed Peaches

Virtually the same benefits as Red Plums; see below

Red Plums

Mood stabilising, plums also help to prevent lung and mouth cancers and improve vision

Red Grapes

Helps cure and prevent high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases. Red grapes have antibacterial properties, cancer prevention and blood sugar regulating benefits.

Ruby Grapefruit

Prevents bad cholesterol, kidney stones, protects against prostate, lung and colon cancer


Good for diabetes, cancer prevention, cardiac health and inflammation, cognitive function, Crohn’s disease and macular degeneration.


Tomatoes have been long held to be good for many health conditions including lowering bad cholesterol, fighting wrinkles, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, protection of bones, liver and kidneys. Recent research shows that tomatoes may be useful in preventing some neurological disorders.


In addition to most of the same health giving properties as tomatoes, watermelon is a diuretic and can help kidney function. It can help diabetes, arthritis and muscle and nerve function.

By Steve Evans (Watermelons) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Steve Evans (Watermelons) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
Daikon | Source



Lowers blood pressure, helps fight heart disease, improves blood flow and fights the progression of dementia. It can also improve stamina during exercise.


Neither a fruit nor a vegetable; hibiscus flowers have excellent health giving properties. The flowers can be dried and made into tea or added fresh to salads. Hibiscus is useful for colds, fluid retention, diuretic, circulatory function and has laxative properties.

Pink Daikon

Detoxifying and cleansing properties, thought to remove gallstones and kidney stones. Used in Ayurvedic medicine.


Low in calories, radicchio is an effective painkiller and sedative. It has anti-malarial properties and is thought to aid the limiting of neural damage to the brain thus making it useful for Alzheimer’s patients

Radicchio | Source

Bunch of Radishes


Red Corn

By Michel Chauvet (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Michel Chauvet (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Red Potatoes | Source


Treats rashes and skin eruptions, fights various cancers like mouth, kidney, stomach and colon, is a diuretic and good for kidney and gallbladder function and sometimes used to treat jaundice.

Red Cabbage

Anti-ageing effects, good for eye health and boosts the immune system; also useful in fighting and preventing stomach ulcers. Red cabbage has cancer fighting properties and can reduce the risk of oestrogen led breast cancers. It can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Red Chillies

Good for burning off fat, reducing cholesterol levels, strengthening immune system and preventing and treating peptic ulcers

Red Corn

High fibre and lowers risk of colon cancer, blood sugar control in diabetics, HIV inhibiting

Red fleshed potatoes

Lowers blood pressure, offers protection against colon cancer, reduces fat storage and is thought to help with insulin resistance.

Red Kidney Beans

Decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes. They lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

By Sanjay Acharya (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Sanjay Acharya (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Red Onion

By Foodista (Rhubarb) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Foodista (Rhubarb) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Red Onions

Prevents heart disease, regulate blood sugar levels, lowers incidence of stomach and colon cancers. Red onions lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health as well as regulating cholesterol levels. Useful also for colds and flu.

Red Peppers

Collagen building, blood pressure lowering, anxiety reducing and good for PMT. Bell peppers are also good for the eyesight and cancer preventative.


Rhubarb has cancer fighting properties, cholesterol lowering and is heart healthy.

Swiss Chard

Blood sugar regulating, also promotes bone health and helps arthritis sufferers

Swiss Chard


So armed with this information there is every reason to include some or all of the above in your diet. Go red!

© Susan Bailey 2013 All Rights Reserved


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