What are red foods?
For a healthy diet it is always recommended to eat red food. They contain lycopene – a valuable secondary plant substance that belongs to the group of carotenoids. Besides its many positive effects on your organism, it is responsible for the red coloring of these natural products. Red, healthy foods include vegetables such as tomatoes, whereby tomato paste in particular has a high lycopene content. Beetroot, red peppers and red beans are also included in this term.
Many types of fruit, such as red apples, pomegranates, rosehips, cherries or watermelon, also contain lycopene. Raspberries, strawberries, cranberries and currants are also included in this list. Spices that make up a healthy diet and contain this carotenoid are both pepper and chilli pepper.
The free radicals
Your body is exposed to many negative influences during your life, such as nicotine, alcohol or UV radiation. These factors can lead to an increased occurrence of aggressive metabolic products, the so-called free radicals.
If this happens to a certain extent, it has no dangerous effect on your health. The situation becomes critical when the number of free radicals is so high that antioxidants are no longer able to fight them sufficiently. This condition is called oxidative stress. The consequences are cell damage and in the last stage cell death. An intake of antioxidants should now be able to prevent exactly this and protect you from the destruction of your tissue.
Red, healthy foods and their benefits
Lycopene is heat resistant and fat soluble. Therefore, you can easily prepare food with this ingredient even at high temperatures, which further increases its bioavailability compared to the raw state. You should always eat them with a little fat so that your body can use them optimally. Avoid eating carotenoids together with fibres, such as pectins, and large amounts of beta-carotene, which is found in carrots. In addition, with products that contain a high proportion of phytosterols (margarine, yoghurt drinks), they significantly limit the absorption of lycopene.
The best ways to consume it
Lycopene, which is found in red foods, acts as an antioxidant and can inactivate free radicals and thus render them harmless. It prevents cell changes and tumour growth. Your risk of cancer can be reduced demonstrably. In addition, taking lycopene strengthens your body’s defences, which generally reduces your susceptibility to colds.
This healthy diet provides protection against cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, and also against diseases such as cataracts and rheumatism. Beneficial processes have also been found in the relationship between lycopene and the skin. Red foods are said to help combat premature skin ageing and the secondary plant substance can also have positive effects in the prevention of skin cancer.
For whom are these foods suitable?
If you often suffer from listlessness and are constantly tired, red, healthy foods such as pepper or chilli can help you counteract this condition. They stimulate your circulation and metabolism and make you fit again in a short time. In principle, it is recommended that you take them whenever you are lycopene deficient. Causes such as long periods of fasting, bulimia, anorexia disorders and excessive alcohol and nicotine consumption can be triggers for this.
If you eat a low-fat diet for a certain period of time, you are also very likely to suffer a lycopene deficiency. Only with the help of fat can this plant substance be utilised by your body. As a consequence, the intake of red foods is of crucial importance for you to compensate for this deficiency. If you are prone to hyperactive behaviour, suffer from high blood pressure or palpitations and are easily irritated, you should at best avoid all red fruits and vegetables. Prefer other healthy foods instead, so as not to make your stressed situation worse.