Adding red to your diet with fruits and vegetables

A close-up shot of all red fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, cherries, watermelon, raspberries and pomegranate.

Is a tomato a fruit for a vegetable?

It’s an age-old question that has had scientists and cooks disagreeing for years. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue.

Scientists classify it as a fruit, because true fruits contain seeds, which tomatoes do.

Cooks say they are vegetables because they use them in savory recipes rather than sweet. The U.S. Supreme Court is on the cook’s side thanks to an 1893 ruling to settle a dispute over tariffs on imported vegetables.

So, botanically speaking, it’s a fruit, but in the kitchen and the court of law, it’s a vegetable.

It’s good to see red

No matter how you classify them, tomatoes and other rosy produce like cherries, strawberries, peppers and beets should be a staple of your diet. Why?

Because the phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, found in red fruits and vegetables support your heart health and eye health and protect against cell-damaging free radicals.

The key phytonutrients in red fruits and vegetables are lycopene, anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins, beta carotene, and ellagic acid and they are responsible for the rich, red color. How do you get them? Look for red when you’re in the produce section.

Three red tomatoes still on the vine.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a common source of these phytonutrients, as they are a favorite food across cultures.

The French once called them the “apple of love,” and they are still loveable because of the many ways you can use them: cooked, stuffed, baked, stewed, boiled, pickled, fried or used as a base for sauces.

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins C and K (good for the bones) and potassium (good for supporting healthy blood pressure). They are also low in carbs and support healthy skin.

A wooden bowl of bright red cherries sit in the middle of a tray filled with bright red cherries. July is a great time to find fresh, local cherries depending on where you live.

Cherries

Cherries, which can be sweet or sour, overflow with antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, nutrients and fiber. The sourer, the better, because that means more antioxidants.

Also, studies have shown their melatonin content can help you sleep better, and they can help with weight management. They make a great healthy snack out of hand or thrown in smoothies—after pitting, of course!

Three red apples sit on a counter.

Apples

You’ve heard the old adage: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. You need more than apples, but they certainly offer vitamin C and folic acid and are good for your heart.

And make sure you leave the paring knife in the drawer: The red skin is where most of the fruit’s nutrients come from, so skip the peeling for the most benefit.

A red pepper

Peppers

Red bell peppers provide a daily dose of vitamin A, and triple your daily dose of vitamin C, way more than their green counterparts. Combine that with the fact that they’re low in calories, and it’s enough reason to give these sweet veggies a spot in your fridge.

Consider supplements

Need more ideas? You can also get the benefits from red phytonutrients from strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pomegranates, cranberries and rhubarb.

Even with all these options, it still may be difficult to get the variety of phytonutrients you’re looking for. Effective dietary supplements can help fill the nutrient gaps.

Nutrilite™ Double X™ Vitamin/ Mineral/Phytonutrient Supplement features 12 essential vitamins, 10 essential minerals and 22 plant concentrates. And Nutrilite™ Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables provides the phytonutrient equivalent of more than 10 servings of fruits and vegetables.

To learn more about that and other Nutrilite products, visit the websites for Amway US or Amway Canada.

 

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