Celebrating Valentine’s Day With These Amazing Foods - Funmbi Oo - Nutrition, Diet, Health Care, Weight Loss and more

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Ladies and Gents, Happy Valentine’s Day! This day signifies a time and season of showing love to those around you and sharing gifts with friends or that special someone. There will be lots and lots of amazing gifts shared all over today so how about we share some foods here too? Funmbi is so ready to celebrate this Valentine’s Day by highlighting six (6) red foods that are good for all organs in your body, including the one that never gets a rest, your heart! These foods are also great for recovering from an intense workout, for keeping a healthy body weight and for preventing cancer and heart disease – but most importantly, they taste good!

I’m sure by now you know how important it is to prioritize fresh produce and color your plate. While no diet may be one size fits all, enjoying plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is universally recognized as healthy for everybody. Vegetables and fruits are excellent in vitamins and minerals, rich in dietary fiber, generally low in calories, and so varied and delicious that there are endless choices to explore! What’s more, according to a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, higher fresh food intake results in more energy, a greater sense of happiness and boosted mental well-being.
Bottom line: if you feel the need to make a change in diet but aren’t sure where to start, simply adding in or swapping some products for the more diverse and colorful fruits and vegetables below could be a magic step:
  • Watermelon

Watermelon is a low-calorie, hydrating fruit that is a natural high antioxidant food, plus a source of vitamins and minerals that can help fight inflammation, free radical damage and prevent a number of serious illnesses.

Watermelon's high levels of lycopene are very effective at protecting cells from damage and may help lower the risk of heart disease, according to a study at Purdue University. They help to prevent both low potassium and magnesium deficiencies, and these are two critical nutrients used to help remedy high blood pressure naturally.

Watermelon may be especially important for older women. A study published concerning menopause found that postmenopausal women, a group known to have increased aortic stiffness, who took watermelon extract for six weeks saw decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness compared to those who did not take watermelon extract. The authors of the study attributed the benefits to citrulline and arginine as these can help improve blood flow and may help reduce the accumulation of excess fat.
  • Strawberries
At only 43 calories per cup, berries contain vitamin C, folate and potassium, in addition to cancer-fighting flavonoids, such as anthocyanin. Flavonoids are antioxidants that combat oxidative stress on the body and protect against free radicals that cause cell damage. This is good news for athletes who push their bodies to the extreme and is especially helpful in urban areas where city pollution can be a source of oxidative stress. The Nurse’s Health Study II reported that people who ate berries more frequently (more than once a month) were 32 percent less likely to have a heart attack than people who ate berries infrequently. Berries also protect the heart with their anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to choose organic berries as often as possible.
  • Red bell peppers

Sweet or hot, raw or cooked, there is no doubt that these are super healthy foods. Sweet red peppers contain vitamins C and A, but they are also a good source of vitamin B6, which aids in protein metabolism. Because red peppers have been left on the plant to mature longer than green ones, they are better sources of antioxidants. They are greatly enjoyed in any form whether sliced, chopped in a chili or stew or eaten raw.
  • Tomatoes
These are a great source of vitamins C and K. They also contain vitamin A and the carotenoids lutein and lycopene. These are antioxidants which are powerful cancer fighters and are very heart protective. Research has shown that cooked tomatoes, like in sauces and stews, can have additional benefits. So enjoy them raw and cooked. Eat the skins as well, as the skins contain many health-promoting phytonutrients. Try tomatoes in a vegetable salad with the next red healthy food on our list – red beans.
  • Red Beans

A fantastic source of plant based protein and fiber, red or ‘kidney’ beans (as it is popularly known) also contain folate, iron, manganese, copper, potassium and several other minerals. Current recommendations from a variety of health organizations tell us to get protein from more plant-based sources in general. Beans are a cheap source of organic protein, which with the fiber will help you feel fuller longer and can keep blood sugar more stable. I would strongly recommend avoiding canned beans because canned products are lined with a plastic coating that contains BPA, which is a known neuroendocrine disruptor. If you unavoidably have to use canned beans, then give them a good rinse before cooking or eating so you can reduce the substance that gives them their reputation for being gas-producing or unhealthy.
  • Beets
These bright red root veggies are hot in the sports nutrition field right now because they are a great source of naturally occurring nitrates. Naturally occurring nitrates in foods like beets, spinach and rhubarb have been shown to significantly improve athletic performance with better power output, more endurance and speed. Athletes or Fitness models might see more benefits by eating more of these veggies or drinking beetroot juice. Nitrate supplementation from pills has not shown the same benefits as consuming the actual vegetable. It’s important to note that cured or processed meats contain nitrates too but interestingly, these have a completely different effect on the body and cause cell damage instead. Cook beets in water until soft and then add them to salads.

There are plenty of other great red foods out there so don’t forget to also include these in your daily food choices – cherries, red cabbage, raspberries, cranberries, ruby red grapefruit, pomegranate, apples and many others.


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