Dive into a healthy Fourth of July celebration by decorating your plate in red, white, and blue. Eating naturally colored red, white, and blue fruits and vegetables has health-enhancing benefits for your mind and body. Enjoying these healthy fruits and vegetables can even help reduce the negative impact of less healthy options like the traditional hot dog, hamburgers, and beer commonly indulged in during the holiday can have. Simply fill at least half your plate with red, white, and blue fruits and vegetables to get most of your meal. Check out our favorite red, white, and blue superfoods below!
Cherries are a summer favorite for many. That dark rich red color in cherries is due to their high levels of anthocyanin pigments, a phytonutrient known to have anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity benefits.
Cherries are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, promoting a healthy immune system, plus high levels of potassium that help reduce blood pressure. Studies where people drank 100g of tart cherry juice, caused people to experience a significant reduction in pain and arthritis symptoms.
You can find cherries in our Designer Plant: Essential Meal Replacement. Try cherries as a snack alone, in a smoothie with Designer Plant, and thrown into a salad.
Strawberries are loaded with manganese, folate, vitamin C, and potassium. In just one cup of strawberries, there is 149% of your recommended intake for vitamin C. High levels of vitamin C in the diet have been shown to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, death, and cancer.
Strawberries' rich red color is from its anthocyanin and phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, ellagitannins, and ellagic acid. These flavonoids have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic properties.
You can find strawberries in Designer Wellness Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie, Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie, and Designer Plant: Essential Meal Replacement. You can enjoy strawberries sliced on top of yogurt and oatmeal or simply snack on them solo.
Never skip a beet! Beets are one of the most amazing health-enhancing vegetables! Beet’s beautiful purple and red hue come from betalains. Beletelains are a phytonutrient with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties linked to combating type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, asthma, and obesity.
Beets are high in natural nitrates, which widen blood vessels helping with circulation, athletic performance, brain function, and blood pressure.
You can find beets Designer Wellness’s Gut Support Gummy. Try beets roasted and sliced as part of a salad, in a sandwich, or put in a smoothie.
Bananas are potassium loaded, helping balance your electrolytes, manage blood pressure, and promote a healthy heart. Greener bananas are full of prebiotics needed to feed your beneficial gut bacteria. Prebiotics don’t break down in the digestive system and pass to the intestines, where probiotics gobble them up, helping them grow and prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Keeping a healthy balanced gut is vital for managing weight, reducing your risk for anxiety and depression, and having a healthy immune system.
You can find bananas in Designer Wellness Banana Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie. Try sliced bananas on oatmeal, make a peanut butter sandwich, or throw a banana in your next Designer Wellness protein shake!
Cauliflower has an incredible nutrient profile containing a bit of all the micronutrients and vitamins you need. It is exceptionally high in vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping fight cancer-causing free radicals and boosting your immune system.
Cauliflower is an all-around cancer preventative food, loaded with antioxidants, glucosinolates, and isocyanates. These antioxidants have been shown to slow the growth of colon, lung, prostate, and lung cancer cells.
Try cauliflower roasted or turned into everything from pizza crust to crackers and rice.
Elderberry is popping up in everything lately, from drinks to vitamins, yogurts, juice, and much more. The increase in popularity is because elderberries may have immune system benefits, helping relieve flu symptoms and upper respiratory infections. They are also rich in fiber, anthocyanins, vitamin C, flavonols, and phytonutrients, contributing to their ability to promote gut health, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation.
Enjoy elderberries in our Designer Wellness Immune System Support gummy, or in kombucha, tea, or as a powder added to your smoothies. Elderberries should not be eaten raw. Raw elderberries contain a toxin called cyanide-inducing glycoside which can cause the build-up of cyanide in the body, causing diarrhea and upset stomach. This toxin is destroyed when elderberries are cooked, leaving behind their sacred medicinal properties.
Fruits and vegetables in red, white, and blue have incredible health benefits due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This summer, focus on filling your plate, bowl, and smoothies with at least half fruits and vegetables to reap the health and life-enhancing benefits. Enhance your red, white, and blue diet by incorporating one of our many red, white, and blue containing products, and try this Red White and Blue Designer Wellness Smoothie Recipe!
By Ginger Cochran, MS, RDN, CDCES, CEP-ACSM