Lycopene is the carotenoid that gives red fruits and vegetables their characteristic bright red colour. This powerful antioxidant is believed to reduce the risks of certain types of cancer, lower the risk of heart disease, as well as reduce and lower the risk of macular degeneration (age-related eye disorder). The top three foods that contain the most lycopene are guava, watermelon, and tomatoes, respectively.
Quercetin, a flavonoid found in many brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, helps maintain healthy blood pressure, lowers the risks of certain types of cancers such as colon cancer, and helps ease allergy and asthma symptoms by preventing the release of histamine by the body’s immune cells. Raw onion, cranberries, cherries, apples, and red peppers are good sources of quercetin.
This biflavonoid is responsible for colour and is found at the highest concentrations in the peels of citrus fruits. Like quercetin, hesperidin helps ease allergy and asthma symptoms by acting as an anti-histamine and thereby preventing the release of histamine. Its other benefits include maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, reducing the risks of certain types of cancers, and strengthing the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) which promotes healing in the body. Grapefruit is the richest source of hesperidin.
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