The Red Diet

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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wikipedia.org

Author and references

Red Foods

Natural food of red color

Tomato, strawberry, blood orange, watermelon, cherry, red grapefruit, raspberry, cranberry, currant, goji berries, red cabbage, figs, radish, red pepper, pomegranate, red radish, red potatoes, red onion and beetroot.


Properties of Red Vegetables

Antitumor and antiatherogenic agents

Red fruit and vegetables are characterized by the presence of two substances with a high antioxidant action: anthocyanins and lycopene (both phytochemicals or phytoalexins).
Secondly, these foods provide good amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and other polyphenolic antioxidants (in addition to anthocyanin flavonoids).


Sources of lycopene

Lycopene is a molecule belonging to the carotenoid family.
Carotenoids, in turn, are molecules that belong to the group of the fat-soluble pro-vitamin A.
Fruits and vegetables reach their maximum amount of lycopene when fully ripe. Cooking, which when it is too intense and prolonged impoverishes food, if moderate and with the addition of olive oil, makes lycopene more absorbable by the body.
In some statistical analyzes it has been noted that the high consumption of foods containing lycopene (tomatoes, blood oranges, cherries, etc.) prevents many types of cancer, cataracts and some neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, as well as slowing down the cellular aging processes. and cutaneous.
The three products that contain the most lycopene are:


  • Tomatoes: they are the main source of lycopene
  • Blood orange
  • Strawberry
  • Cherries.

functions

  • Antioxidant function: acts on lipoproteins (the molecules responsible for transporting fats in the blood) and on cell membranes, where it "captures" free radicals
  • Prevention of atherosclerosis (due to high blood cholesterol levels)
  • Prevention of prostate, ovarian and breast cancer
  • Treatment of pathologies of the blood vessels
  • Reduction of capillary fragility
  • Visual function support.

Therefore, the foods of the red group reduce the risks of getting cardiovascular diseases and cancers.


Sources of anthocyanins

Anthocyanins or anthocyanins are natural dyes responsible for the red hue (but also purple or blue, depending on the type), which belong to the flavonoid family.

  • The most abundant red anthocyanins in Western diet foods are: cyanidin and perargonidine.

They are contained in the leaves, flowers, fruits and roots.
Unlike lycopene and carotenoids in general, anthocyanins dissolve mainly in water and not in fats.


Curiosity

Anthocyanins change their color based on the surrounding pH.
With an acid pH they have a red hue, while with a basic pH they take on a blue or violet appearance.
Anthocyan red E163 is an anthocyanin-based food coloring.


functions

  • Antioxidant and anti-radical
  • They fight the metabolic diseases
  • They limit the damage of metabolic pathologies
  • They counteract capillary fragility
  • They hinder systemic inflammation
  • They reduce cardiovascular and cancer risk.

Sources of magnesium

Red fruits and vegetables are also characterized by the good presence of magnesium.

functions

  • It is involved in the cellular metabolism of peptides and carbohydrates
  • Regulates nerve transmission
  • Helps modulate blood pressure
  • Promotes an alkaline PRAL, improving the acid-base balance.

The absorption of magnesium is compromised by the anti-nutritional action of phytic acid and oxalic acid. For this reason, absorption increases with cooking, which is responsible for the degradation of phytates and oxalates.
It is therefore advisable to also eat cooked red vegetables and not just raw.


Note: boiling in water or poaching causes the dilution of magnesium in water and consequent nutritional impoverishment. The most recommended are: steam cooking, pot cooking, vacuum cooking and quick pan cooking.

Sources of potassium

Vegetables and red fruits contain a significant amount of potassium.

functions

  • It allows the rhythmicity of the heart
  • It is necessary for the nerve and muscle impulse
  • Fights hypertension
  • It maintains the acid-base balance and counteracts water retention.

Sources of folic acid

Red foods also boast a good percentage of folic acid.


functions

  • By fighting hyperhomocysteinemia, folate prevents the vascular complications of atherosclerosis
  • They are the basis of the nervous development of the fetus and prevent developmental defects (e.g. spina bifida)
  • They contribute to the production of red blood cells

Nutritional folate insufficiency can trigger pernicious anemia and some fetal deformities.
Being thermolabile, folates degrade with cooking.

Sources of Vitamin C

Strawberries, cherries, red peppers and chillies, blood oranges etc. they also contain high amounts of vitamin C.

functions

  • It is a powerful antioxidant
  • Enables the production of collagen
  • Supports the immune system
  • Increases the absorption of ferrous iron (Fe 2+)
  • Contributes to maintaining the integrity of blood vessels
  • Promotes scarring.

Red Recipes

Stuffed tomatoes

Ingredients for 4 people)

  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 200 g of mozzarella
  • 100 g of pitted green olives
  • 80 g of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 50 g of parsley
  • 50 g of breadcrumbs
  • A few basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper.

Preparation

  • Wash and cut the tomatoes into two equal parts and remove the seeds.
  • Chop the parsley, basil, capers and olives and add the parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  • Mix everything with a glass of oil.
  • Stuff the tomatoes with this mixture and place them in a baking dish covered with baking paper.
  • Cook at 180 degrees for about fifteen minutes.
  • Slice the mozzarella and arrange a slice on top of each stuffed tomato, then bake again until the mozzarella has melted.

Red Salad

Ingredients for 4 people)

  • 6 radishes
  • 4 red beets
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 fennel
  • Fresh mint
  • Balsamic vinegar.

Preparation

  • Peel and boil the beets in abundant salted water; once cooked, let them cool and then cut them into julienne strips (into strips or match sticks).
  • Wash and cut the radishes into four parts.
  • Wash and thinly slice the fennel.
  • Peel and slice two oranges; squeeze a third.
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl and flavor with the orange juice, the balsamic vinegar and the mint leaves.

Red centrifuged

Summer Centrifugate (thirst-quenching and purifying)

Ingredients for 4 people)

  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • A bunch of asparagus
  • A few celery leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • Pepe

Preparation

  • After washing and peeling the tomatoes, centrifuge them with the asparagus and celery.
  • Add a pinch of pepper and a few drops of lemon.
  • Serve with two ice cubes.

Spring Centrifuged (energizing and anti-aging)

Ingredients for 4 people)

  • 750 g of cherries
  • 4 slices of watermelon
  • 1 melon
  • Lemon
  • A few mint leaves.

Preparation

  • Wash and remove the stones from the cherries and centrifuge them together with the pulp of the melon and watermelon.
  • Add a few drops of lemon and mint leaves.
  • Serve with two ice cubes.

Winter Centrifugate (delicate taste rich in mineral salts)

Ingredients for 4 people)

  • 4 blood oranges
  • 4 red beets
  • 2 cucumbers
  • A bunch of parsley.

Preparation

  • Centrifuge the beets with the cucumbers.
  • Squeeze the oranges.
  • Add the juice to the orange juice and add a few parsley leaves.

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