Tomatoes, red bell peppers, and watermelon, oh my! What do you see when you look down at your plate? Do you only see green, no bright colors? Just grains? All protein? No vegetables? Unfortunately, that glass of red wine cannot be counted as a red fruit! Eating a balanced and color varied meal packed with nutrition is important if you want to maintain a healthy body.

Fruits and vegetables deep red or brighter pink in color should be eaten every day to keep your body heathy and happy. Red color food from plants contain phytochemicals, such as lycopene and anthocyanins, substances found only in plants: helps your body fight disease, protects your skin, promotes good general health, and may reduce risks of cancer. There are many more health promoting phytochemicals found in plants, which is why it is important to eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables everyday. If you are not a fan of eating your vegetables, try juicing them instead for a quick shot of nutrients and an energy boost.

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Watermelon

A heavy fruit with smooth green skin, red-pink pulp, sweet watery juice, and made up of water and natural sugar, the watermelon is a popular summertime favorite. It is a large melon-like fruit from a plant of the gourd family that grows on vines on the ground, and is related to the cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash, gourd, and cucumber. From round to oblong or spherical, watermelons have a thick green rind and can be one of many different shapes and sizes. Even though the watermelon is 92% sweet water, it is full of nutrients. Some vitamins and minerals found in the watermelon are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants, and some dietary fiber.

For a nutritious and hydrating summer treat, try this Watermelon Mint Vega Summer Smoothie, or this simple and easy to make vegan recipe for Watermelon Gazpacho.

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Health Benefits – boosts the immune system against infections and viruses, eye health and defends against cataracts, potassium helps prevent muscle cramps.

Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers, and other bell pepper colors, are named for their bell-like shape and are in the sweet pepper category belonging to the capsicum family. When eaten raw, this delicious vegetable has a mild sweet flavor, texture is crunchy and crisp when you bite into it, with a juicy refreshing flesh. Their red skin color develops from green bell peppers that have been left to ripen for a longer length of time and tend to taste sweeter than the green ones. Red bells are a rich source of vitamin C providing nearly 300% of your daily intake, and has good levels of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.

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Is your summer garden overflowing with bell peppers and other fresh vegetables? Check out this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe to enjoy your bell peppers in, and as, a vegan dip! Or, whip up a healthy breakfast omelette: Chickpea Flour Omelette With Spinach, Onion and Bell Peppers

Health Benefits – has anti-inflammatory properties, potential anti-cancer benefits, helps support healthy night vision.

Beets

Red beets are a root vegetable, a red superfood, that is packed full of nutrients. The unique pigment antioxidants in the beet root can lower cholesterol levels, offers protection against coronary artery disease and stroke, and has anti-aging effects. You will also get another big dose of vitamin C from the dark green beet tops (leaves), which taste great added to a fresh vegetable juice. Besides being low in calories with zero fats, they are also a good source of natural sugar. Vitamins and minerals: a good source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and folic acid.

Check out this recipe for a healthy lunch of Sesame Roasted Beets and Greens, and take a different spin on cupcakes with this delicious looking plant-based recipe for Beet-root Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes!

Health Benefits – fights colds, weight loss management, lowers blood pressure, energy booster, brain power, cardiovascular health, some cultures treat a variety of ailments like fevers and digestion and the blood illnesses.

Photo Source: Emily Carlin/Flickr