As the fourth of July holiday approaches we’ll all consume our fare share of grilled meats topped with a mountain of condiments, crunchy packaged chips and those absolutely irresistible desserts. And hey, it is a holiday so don’t feel too bad!
In order to keep yourself somewhat on track during this time of celebration, take a moment to put the focus on fresh foods, highlighting those of our national colors – red, white and blue!
Brighter is better!
We’ve all heard that eating a range of foods that are bright in color will benefit our health in more ways than one. The red hughe in food comes from anthocyanins – an antioxidant that helps remove free radicals from the body. Another important take away is that red foods help to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), decrease your risk of prostate cancer and help to lower blood pressure. With all those benefits how could you not indulge in this color family?!
Some healthy options include strawberries, red bell pepper and tomatoes. But don’t feel limited to these three! There are plenty of healthy red food options for us to choose from, all leading to a healthier, happier you.
Don’t be too bland.
We’re generally told to avoid white foods as they tend to be less nutritious and contain more simple carbohydrates than we’d like (think cookies, doughnuts, etc.) But it is important to remember that there are some foods that are just as nutrient dense as their brightly colored food friends.
How about white fish, greek yogurt, white onions or cannellini beans- to name a few. All of these choices have their own health benefits, so go ahead, indulge in their bland colors and let your own excitement speak for itself.
Is blue really true?
There’s a funny thing to know about blue colored foods… they are actually very rare to find in nature. Another interesting fact? The color blue is known to be an appetite suppressant! With these things in mind, don’t give up hope! There are a few naturally blue foods that will add to your health.
While blueberries can be enjoyed in abundance, blue corn tortilla chips and blue cheese (though they do both have health benefits) should still be consumed in moderation.
Now that you know a little more about food relating to your American colors, have fun this holiday and experiment with the freshness found in red, white and blue foods! And remember, just because the holiday comes around just once a year, that doesn’t mean you can only enjoy these delicious and nutritious choices once as well – make them a part of your regular health routine and reap the benefits all year long.
*To read more about the benefits of the red, white and blue color family visit Shine!
Happy July 4th!