Super Reds: The missing superfoods in your wellness routine
“Super reds” are superfoods known for their distinctive red color.
Common super reds include red beets, berries, and tropical red fruits. These fruits and vegetables aren’t only rich in flavor, but are also packed with essential micronutrients, bioactive plant compounds and provide many benefits to your health.
But why does it matter that a majority of adults don’t get enough red produce in their diet?
What are the Benefits of Super Reds?
Red superfoods should be an important part of your diet due to their energy boosting and detoxification properties. They also have the ability to fortify the immune system, protect the body from oxidative stress, and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
The nutrients and bioactive compounds in super reds are what provide their many benefits. The key nutrients in red fruits and vegetables you should be aware of include the following:
Phytonutrients – Chemicals produced by plants that carry immunity boosting, and detoxification properties. Anthocyanin, which provides super reds with their signature color, is one of the most important phytonutrients.
Fiber – Boosts satiety and gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Vitamins and minerals – Essential micronutrients needed by the body to maintain balanced health. They also sustain the functions of organ systems and body processes.
Antioxidants – Prevent and repair damage caused by oxidative stress. Many compounds in red plants act as antioxidants, including phytochemicals and several vitamins and minerals.
Super Reds vs. Super Greens
Red and green produce both provide many long-term health benefits.
However, fruits and vegetables of different colors contain distinct amounts of essential vitamins and minerals and unique forms of phytonutrients. As a result, the main difference between super reds and super greens is the nutrients they contain.
Super greens include higher amounts of vitamins A and C, magnesium, calcium, and iron, which support vital body functions.
The most powerful super greens include:
- Barley grass and wheat grass
In contrast, super reds contain many unique phytonutrients due to their color, such as lycopene and anthocyanins. These help with antioxidation.
The most powerful super reds include:
- Red beets
4 Essential Super Reds and Why You Need Them in Your Diet
Tart cherries are a popular ingredient in reds due to their high concentration of beneficial nutrients. Compared to sweet cherries, tart cherries provide twenty-times more vitamin A and five-times more available antioxidants. They also contain high amounts of vitamin C and K, magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Whether fresh, juiced, or powdered, the potent nutrients provide tart cherries with its anti-inflammatory properties. Tart cherry has also been shown to improve sleep quality, boost immune system function, and increase strength for exercise performance.
Red beetroot is an excellent source of folate, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin C, and fiber. It also contains several plant compounds known to support good health, including the antioxidant betanin and inorganic nitrate, which helps improve blood flow.
This red vegetable is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and high antioxidant capacity, which helps to improve circulation. Better circulation increases nutrient delivery, boosts oxygen flow, and increases exercise capacity.
Cranberries are often included in super reds for the bioactive antioxidants and flavonol polyphenols plant compounds they contain. Phenolic compounds in cranberries include quercetin, myricetin, and ursolic acid. They are also a great source of vitamin C, E, and K, as well as manganese, copper, and fiber.
Cranberries are well known as a natural antibacterial agent, especially with their effectiveness in easing the symptoms of UTIs. Recently, cranberries have been recognized for their ability to protect the gut microbiota by preventing the growth of potentially harmful bacteria in intestines, thus helping to maintain a healthy immune system.
The edible seeds in pomegranates – called arils – contain many beneficial nutrients, including vitamin D, folate, potassium, fiber, and even protein. Unlike other super reds, pomegranates also contain two unique and powerful bioactive plant compounds – punicalagins and punicic acid.
Punicalagins are potent antioxidants with three times more strength than the antioxidants found in red wine and green tea. Punicic acid, which is the main fat in pomegranate arils, is a conjugated linoleic fatty acid subjectively linked to potential weight loss through breakdown of body fat and inhibition of fat production.
Find a Super Reds Drink That’s Right for You
Super Reds provide a range of benefits to keep your gut strong, energized and balanced.
If you’re not getting red fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, a super reds powder is an excellent way to provide your body with those essential nutrients.
About the Author:
Allison Lansman, RDN, LD is a freelance writer and owner of The Freelance RD Nutrition Writing Services. She is passionate about creating exciting, research-based nutrition blog posts with her professional background as a dietitian. Allie prioritizes creating articles all readers can understand and incorporate into their daily lives.