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I got lured in by red food the other day. I wanted to make salmon patties and when I looked in the stockpile cupboard, there was no pink salmon. I had a few cans of red salmon so I decided to use that instead. When I started preparing the patties, I realised I only had organic potatoes and I didn't want to use those in the patties, so I boiled a couple of red/orange sweet potatoes instead, then peeled a red onion. As food as I had the patties made and in the fridge, I took time out to look up red food on the web.
I knew there had been research done in recent years about the health benefits of phytochemicals - the part of food that gives it colour. If you're eating fruit and vegetables for the health benefits, the deeper the colour, the more of these phytochemicals you'll be getting. And by the way, phytochemicals are never in vitamin supplements, they're only in food.
- Allicin is found in onions and garlic. Allicin blocks or eliminates certain toxins from bacteria and viruses.
- Anthocyanins are found in red and blue fruits (such as raspberries and blueberries) and vegetables. They help to slow the aging process, protect against heart disease and tumors, prevent blood clots, and fight inflammation and allergies.
- Biflavonoids are found in citrus fruits.
- Carotenoids are found in dark yellow, orange, and deep green fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, parsley, oranges, pink grapefruit, and spinach.
- Flavonoids are found in fruits, vegetables, wine, green tea, onions, apples, kale, and beans.
- Indoles are found in broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, and turnips (also known as “cruciferous” vegetables). They contain sulfur and activate agents that destroy cancer-causing chemicals.
- Isoflavones are found in soybeans and soybean products.
- Lignins are found in flaxseed and whole grain products.
- Lutein is found in leafy green vegetables. It may prevent macular degeneration and cataracts as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.
- Lycopene is found primarily in tomato products. When cooked, it appears to reduce the risk for cancer and heart attacks.
- Phenolics are found in citrus fruits, fruit juices, cereals, legumes, and oilseeds. It is thought to be extremely powerful, and is studied for a variety of health benefits including slowing the aging process, protecting against heart disease and tumors, and fighting inflammation, allergies, and blood clots.
When I went back to the kitchen, I decided to make up a red meal. Red fruits and vegetables "Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases." Source. All brightly coloured fruit and vegetables are good for you and the medical advice is to eat a colourful variety every day, but my preference that day was for red food.
As well as the red salmon, red onion and red sweet potato fish cakes, I made a salad of red vegetables - red capsicums/peppers, tomatoes, radishes and finished it off the chilli jam. We also had coleslaw which was not red but had to be used. Dessert was watermelon.
To make eight salmon patties, boil potatoes and mash them. You'll need about 2 cups. To the mashed potato, add the broken up salmon, finely chopped onion, two eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well together. Form into patties and cover with bread crumbs. Fry in a shallow frying pan until golden on both sides - about 15 minutes. Serve with a red, green or rainbow salad of your choice.
Does colour play a part in your food choices?