The color red is a powerful color. Red is a color of extremes. It is the color of love and hate. We blush with embarrassment or get red in the face from increased blood flow when we are angry. Red is primarily associated with blood. Red is the color of our blood and a vivid reminder of life and death. It is the universal color for danger. Red is energizing. It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. It stimulates the deeper passions within us, such as sex, love, courage, hatred, or revenge. Can’t you just see the color red in these emotions? What is the first thing that comes to your mind with the color red?
Our society reflects how the color red stimulates us psychologically.
- Dominance – athletes wearing a red in combat sports had a bigger chance of winning. Red makes the person feel more aggressive and more powerful, boosting testosterone, but it also changes the perception others have.
- Danger – Red captures attention. It is one of the most visible colors, second only to yellow – which explains why it is used on fire engines and stop signs to trigger alertness. No wonder it’s so often used in warning signs. Red has to do with the body’s fight-or-flight response, so too much red leaves the person feeling not just alert, but also stressed out.
- Stimulates – In light therapy treatment as a holistic or alternative treatment, red is used to stimulate the body and mind. Wearing red can even change your physiology and balance of hormones.
- Passion/Love – People wearing red are consistently rated as more attractive by others. Red is often used to express love, as in Valentine’s Day. The color red can stimulate the appetite, often being used in restaurants for this purpose. It also increases craving for food and other stimuli. If you notice this about you, let me know? Passion, is in all of us! How do you express yours?
- Life – Leviticus 17:14 says, For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof:
Things that effect us psychologically are expressed physiologically and visa versa. Two emotion theories integrate the physiological component: the James-Lange theory of emotion holds that we perceive a stimulus, our body responds, and we interpret the body’s reaction as emotion. The Cannon-Bard theory suggests that we experience an emotion and bodily changes simultaneously. The amygdala is a part of the brain that controls our experience of fear receives danger information and sends out instructions to prepare the body. The amygdala is involved in memory and it is believed to be an important brain structure in explaining the long-term effects of extreme fear experiences. The left hemisphere is associated with emotions such as happiness, while the right hemisphere is more linked to emotions such as disgust. Red relates respectively to the body, the mind, the emotions and the essential balance between these three.
- Red stimulates the body and mind and to increase circulation. It energizes heart and blood circulation, it builds up the blood and heightens a low blood pressure. Energizes all organs and the senses hearing, smell, taste, vision and touch.
- Red reduces the risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness for older folks.
- Red foods help you to shed weight and are active in drawing toxins from the cells. If you are subject to frequent colds and flu or you feel tired and depleted, they will boost your resilience greater protection against heart disease.
- Vitamin C is found in red foods
One of the red colors in plants is a pigment called Lycopene. Lycopene is one of over 600 known carotenoids – a color pigment), the color red, is a powerful antioxidant, which means that, among nutrients, it has a greater-than-average ability to “quench” the fiery darts of free radicals that cause damage to cells.
- It has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, especially prostate cancer, and protection against heart attacks. Look for tomato-based products for the most concentrated source of this phytochemical.
- Red fruits and vegetables are also sources of flavonoids, which reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties.
- Antioxidants prevent cancer. Antioxidants can be vitamins, minerals, or other phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Antioxidants help keep you young and prevent disease. Antioxidants always work better in combinations.
- Lycopene is a fat-soluble carotenoid color, therefore it needs a type of fatty food to eat along with it. Intake of fat along with carotenoids greatly helps to improve their absorption. Lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when heated. Lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals.
- Many whole foods that are red are naturally low-calorie, low-sodium foods.
The terms oxidative stress and free radicals are terms that describe the total burden placed on our bodies from our environment from toxins in air, food, and water. Substances in our diets (such as vitamin C and vitamin E) can “quench”these flaming darts so that we can cope with the oxidative stress over time. They help provide longevity.
Betacyanins exist as betanidin, betanin, amaranthin, isobetanin, isobetanidin and iso-amarathin depending upon substituents.
Betanin absorbs well from the gut and acts as an antioxidant. Betanin is usually obtained from the extract of beet juice. The color of betanin depends on pH; between four and five on the pH scale it is bright bluish-red, becoming blue-violet as the pH increases. Once the pH reaches alkaline levels betanin degrades by hydrolysis (reaction with water), resulting in a yellow-brown color. Betanin has nearly no potential as an allergen. Betalains are water-soluble phytochemicals (plant chemicals) synthesized from amino acid tyrosine.
Betalains are classified into 2 groups:
1. Betacyanins (Red – Pink – Purple – Violet)
2. Betaxanthins (Yellow – Orange)
Other dietary sources of betanin and other betalains include the opuntia cactus (round flat cactus), Swiss chard, and the leaves of some strains of amaranth.
Anthocyanidin comes from two Greek words which mean “blue flower”. In fact, they can be purple (e.g. concord grapes), or even blue (e.g. blueberries). The differences in color are caused by differences in the pH (that is, the acidity/alkalinity) of the plant tissues. But, Anthocyanidin contains two main sugars that produce the red color found in strawberries called pelargonin and cyanidin. Red is quite acidic. Since strawberries are somewhat acidic, their anthocyanins, pelargonin and cyanidin reflect red light (the acid in strawberries, at a pH below 3, gives them their sourness), whereas the more alkaline fruit of blueberries causes their anthocyanins to reflect blue light (the alkalinity of a blueberry’s skin, pH higher than 11, is what makes it slightly bitter-tasting). Anthocyanins are also a good source of tannins, which prevent bacteria from attaching to cells,” says Kasik-Miller of more reasons to relish red. Tannins are astringent or boldly bitter in flavor. Their main characteristic is that they bind and precipitate proteins. They can have a large influence on the nutritive value of many foods
Here is a small list of Red Food Sources and their health benefits from the red in them: (please be sure to complete the poll at the end)
- Cherries fight inflammation
- Pomegranates help to reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure
- Beets for 19% of the growth of healthy new cells
- Red chiles an antioxidant in chiles protect blood vessels and increases the body’s metabolic rate and may stimulate brain chemicals that help us feel less hungry
- Red peppers – fight bacteria
- Tomatoes rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that fights skin aging and may be beneficial against cancer and heart disease.
- Watermelon An enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is a muscle relaxant. For example, when nitric oxide (NO) tells the smooth muscles around our blood vessels to relax, the space inside our blood vessels can expand, allowing blood to flow more freely and creating a drop in blood pressure
- Apples – combat free-radical damage to artery walls
- Cranberries have anthocyanins, not lycopene – prevent yeast infections in some women.
- Kidney beans – combat free-radical damage to artery walls
- Strawberries – reduce the risk of cancer, antioxidants in strawberry may also help to retard aging of the brain, and is an effective dental cleaner
- Red raspberries – protect against heart disease and age-related mental decline. Eating red raspberries may prevent cancer by inhibiting the abnormal division of cells and promoting the normal death of healthy cells.
- Guava – lycopene found in pink-fleshed guavas may further reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and protective effect against exercise-induced asthma
- Pink and Ruby Red Grapefruit – responsible for disease and age-related cell damage.
- Red grapes – resveratrol results in a dramatic reduction in heart-attack risk factors.
Have you noticed the most the red foods deal with the blood. Life is in the blood. Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood:…”
How much life in these red hued fruits and vegetables is a part of your diet?
Putting it all together: The color red is the color of energy, passion, and action. Red is a warm and positive color associated with our will to survive. It also stands to reason that since red is primarily associated with blood that it would be closely linked with our most physical need for heart protection, to cardiovascular health, and to protecting us on the deepest cellular levels. Red is life or death. Which will you choose? Life is truly in the blood.
On a Spiritual note: Red is known as the color of passion and action. The creator of red displayed the ultimate passion and action through His love on the cross. His cleansing blood was given for all mankind once and for all. Romans 5:9 shares “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” If you have not already given your life to Him, it is not too late. Will you let Jesus stimulate your heart into action by trusting him with it and live with him throughout eternity? For God so loved the world, that he gave his only b
egotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Make it your mission in life to not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Remember you cannot do this with Jesus the true life-giver. John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:…”