Although it may surprise you, the color of fruits and vegetables can tell us an ample amount of information about their dietary value. Often times this characteristic is indicative of certain nutrients that are present in the food in high amounts. When it comes to red fruits and vegetables, they are particularly rich in two powerful antioxidants: lycopene and anthocyanins. Both of these substances have numerous health benefits for those with diabetes, which is why researchers recommend eating at least one plant food of this color per day.
The first antioxidant found in red fruits, lycopene, has been noted for its ability to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. As some of our readers may already know, individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop both of these health problems. One practical and easy way for them to reduce the chance of this happening it simply to add more lycopene rich fruits and vegetables into their diet. Foods that contain high amounts of this nutrient include: grapefruit, tomato, guava, watermelon, papaya and sweet chili peppers.
The second antioxidant, anthocyanins, is thought to prevent the occurrence of diabetic vascular disease and help control high blood pressure. Obviously, both of these health benefits are of clear benefit to anyone who suffers from diabetes and its related symptoms. Similar to lycopene, high amounts of anthocyanins is most commonly found in red fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in this antioxidant include: strawberries, beets raspberries, cranberries, red cabbage, kidney beans, sweet cherries, red apples and red onion.
Keep in mind that you should be aiming for anywhere between 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Also, make sure to eat foods that have a variety of different colors, as you want to get as many different nutrients into your diet as possible. That being said, we strongly urge anyone with diabetes to eat red fruits and vegetables regularly. Aside from helping you meet your daily nutritional requirements, these types of foods have unique benefits that are especially helpful in dealing with diabetic symptoms.