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Red Fruits and Vegetables

Go Big Red Foods! Husker-Inspired Healthy Eats

When it comes to choosing the best red foods for your game day party, we know that choosing a wide variety of produce can be beneficial for all areas of health. With Husker fall sports in full effect, let’s shed some light on red foods and the punch they deliver against the competition.


Don’t let the unknown have you avoiding this antioxidant powerhouse! At first glance, they look just like any other red food, but inside the thick skin are red seeds, called arils.

Fun Facts About Arils

  • One cup of arils boasts an excellent source of vitamins C and K, plus 7 grams of fiber.
  • Studies show this fruit can combat inflammation and may improve arthritis.
  • The juice has shown to decrease blood pressure and improve triglyceride levels.

Try adding the arils to a salad, yogurt parfait or just munch on them alone. The texture is a unique burst of juice! Adding 100 percent pomegranate juice to a sparkling water or a smoothie makes for a refreshing flavor.


Not just for your Thanksgiving table! Cranberries offer sky high antioxidant levels that fight free radicals, which can lead to illness or disease.

Fun Fact about Cranberry Juice and Capsules

With fresh cranberries coming into season in the fall and winter, it’s time to take advantage of an early morning football game! Add cranberries to your muffin or pancake recipe, make a smoothie or even channel Thanksgiving with a homemade cranberry sauce.

Chili Peppers

You’ll get more than heat when you eat these peppers! With too many varieties of chili peppers to list, there are two available forms you can use: whole form or as a dried spice.

Fun Fact about Chili Peppers

  • They have antioxidants and other plant compounds like capsaicin.

Capsaicin is thought to counteract inflammation and possibly aid in conditions like arthritis. Try adding dried spices like paprika, chili or cayenne pepper to chili, meat or vegetables. For an added zing, add cayenne to dark chocolate fondue.

Due to plants being naturally low in fat and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, eating a colorful variety of plants is beneficial for weight management, diabetes, cancer and more. So, when you’re planning your next football or volleyball viewing party, try to incorporate new red foods into the menu! You will be supporting the Huskers and your health all at the same time with these red powerhouse foods.

As always, feel free to reach out to our CHI Health Registered Dietitians for more information.

Originally Published: September 2019. Revised: August 2022.

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.

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