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One fruit, two fruit, red fruit, blue fruit

Danielle CaseyStaff Writer The second presidential debate at Hofstra University has long come to an end and President Barack Obama has been reelected. Whether this brings you joy or sadness, you probably still have red, white and blue on your mind. Fortunately, here at the Health Corner, I can work with that. It is important to eat a variety of differently colored foods (I do not mean Skittles and Starbursts) in order to consume a variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. There are plenty of delicious red foods out there for you to enjoy. Red foods typically contain few calories and a low amount of sodium. Cherries and pomegranates are a great source of potassium and antioxidants. One cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber and only 64 calories. A serving of strawberries, my personal favorite, contain more vitamin C than an orange. This time of year, apples are a much more convenient snack than cherries, raspberries or strawberries. Fortunately apples contain a soluble fiber known as pectin, which aids in lowering cholesterol. Another nutrient found in red foods is called lycopene. Lycopene helps lower risk for cancer, and tomatoes are especially high in this nutrient. When trying to devise a healthy eating plan, you probably regard white foods as an absolute no-no. It is true that white bread and white pasta lack the healthy benefits of their whole-wheat counterpart. On the flipside, some white foods can actually enhance your diet. White onions have a high quantity of the flavonoid quercetin, which can improve cardiovascular health. Cauliflower is known for decreasing risk of cancer and has a good amount of potassium and vitamin C for its low calorie content. Cauliflower is also ranked second in vegetables’ concentration of glucosinolate compounds, which play a key role in the body’s detoxification system. Blue foods include blueberries, blackberries and raisins. These foods are loaded with flavonoids. Flavonoids are phytochemicals that can decrease risk of heart disease, slow aging, improve memory and motor skills and prevent cancer. Studies show that people who consume blue foods have lower blood pressure and tinier waists than people who do not. The deeper the hue, the more nutritionally dense the product is. This is only true of naturally colored foods though. Foods that have been artificially colored do not contain the healthy benefits found in natural fruits and vegetables. I think that Republicans and Democrats can all agree that red, white and blue symbolize our great country, and a great diet too.

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