For some people, October is the month to break out all things orange, black, and Halloween-themed. And while I love a good Jack o' Lantern as much as the next girl, there's another color that's equally as important to this month for a different reason: pink.
Pink is the official color of breast cancer awareness month, and there are plenty of unique ways to keep this cause in mind, even with food. Plenty of foods are either naturally pink or can be dyed pink without losing any of their rich flavor or health benefits.
So, in honor of breast cancer awareness month, here are 15 pink foods to keep inspiring the women and men who have been diagnosed with this disease to keep fighting the good fight.
Raspberries are the first pink treat on the list and are packed with tons of benefits. Besides being delicious, these fruits are portable, low in calories, and are full of ellagic acid.
What's ellagic acid? It's an antioxidant that has been shown to inhibit the division of abnormal cells and promote normal death in healthy cells. So, raspberries can actually help cancer patients and survivors to fight their disease. Seems like more than enough reason to go pick up a carton next time you're at the store.
Another fruit that shows it's better to think pink. Watermelon is full of nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin B6 and is also made of 92% water–so this treat is a lot more refreshing than taking a daily multivitamin.Additionally, watermelon is full of lycopene–about 15-20 mg per two cup serving–which is one of the highest lycopene levels in any fruit or vegetable. Besides giving the watermelon its rosy hue, lycopene is also an anti-inflammatory antioxidant which, like ellagic acid, has also been linked to cancer prevention.
A savory addition to the list, salmon has irrefutable health benefits–whether smeared on a bagel or eaten in your fave sushi roll. Salmon, like other fish, is full of the two most important omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is vitally important to one's health and well-being. Consuming these acids has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
4. Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is hiding a ton of health benefits beneath its pretty pink exterior. Dragon fruit is full of essential vitamins and minerals–vitamins C, B1, B2, B3 to be exact.
And, dragon fruit is also mad heart healthy, with low levels of cholesterol and monounsaturated fats. This is one dragon you don't want to #slay.
One of the most Instagram-able fruits, guava is next on the list. This pink fruit boasts four times the vitamin C levels of oranges and, like its cousin watermelon, guavas are full of lycopene.
Guavas have also been shown to reduce the risks of diabetes, due to its low glycemic index. The fiber in guavas helps regulate sugar and the low glycemic index prevents blood sugar spikes. Something tells me we should be skipping our morning glass of OJ for a cold glass of guava juice.
Steamed, breaded, or served with cocktail sauce, shrimp is a pink food that has some great nutritional value. Shrimp is great for red blood cell health, as it's full of vitamins A and B12.
But how shrimp really shines is with killer protein content: a six ounce serving of shrimp has a whopping 39 grams of protein. For context, the recommended protein intake for women sits around 46 grams and the recommended intake for men is 56 grams. For such a little food, shrimp packs a huge punch.
7. Pink Lady Apples
You know what they say, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Many people think that all varieties of apples are one and the same, but pink lady apples are actually better for you than certain other types of the fruit.
Pink lady apples are full of flavonoids which aid in heart health and stress response, which is all the more reason to pick up a bushel of these pretty fruits next time you're at the store.
Sure, they may not be the "sick beat[s]" that T. Swift was talking about in "Shake It Off," but this veggie definitely deserves just as much recognition. This pink food is just like a lot of the other entries on this list: chock full of vitamins and heart healthy nutrients.
Beets are also full of betacyanin, an antioxidant that gives the food its pink hue and protects against common carcinogens. Not sure how to get this superfood into your diet? Try it the Aussie way–on top of a burger.
(Guys, I promise, there's a difference between beets and rhubarb.) While this pink plant looks like it could be a twin to the beet, rhubarb is full of health benefits all its own.
Rhubarb is one of the lowest calorie vegetables you can buy, which makes it perfect for people watching their weight, and is full of dietary fiber to keep you regular. Plus, added bonus, you can make mouth-watering pies with them. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.
Just make sure you only eat the stalks! The leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can cause severe illness in some people.
10. Pink Peppercorn
Fun fact: the pink peppercorn is actually a dried berry from the Baies rose plant rather than an actual peppercorn. But don't let the name fool you, this spice is definitely worth having in your pantry.
Give your food a sweet and spicy kick reminiscent of French cuisine with this spice. And as an added bonus, this peppercorn has been shown to fight against the cold and the flu and even against muscle stiffness.
Anyone who passed elementary school art class can tell you that mixing red and white together makes pink. So, as far as I'm concerned, peppermint counts on this list of pink foods.
This festive flavor is perfect for those who suffer from stomach issues due to its being used in treatments for irritable bowel syndrome, gas, and bloating. Sounds like a good enough reason to me to order a grande peppermint mocha from Starbs.
Okay, okay, just hear me out. Does ham get a bad rap? Maybe. But is it deserved? Maybe not. This meat has graced Easter tables and workday sandwiches for years and has gained quite a following, for good reason!
Ham is praised for its high protein and iron levels and, if you buy a leaner cut of the meat, has very low levels of saturated fat. The only sticking point here is ham's generally high sodium levels–1200+ mg per 3.5 ounce serving. With that being said, there is no reason why you can't eat ham from time to time.
13. Pink Grapefruit
Pink grapefruits are probably a familiar staple in your dining hall, but do you ever stop to think about all the health benefits packed into these fruits? Grapefruits are full of vitamin C and are made up of 91% water, making them one of the most hydrating fruits on the market.
All of this water and vitamin C are great for stimulating the production of collagen, which means healthy, glowing skin. Your wallet will thank you if you replace your face masks from Sephora with a grapefruit every once in a while (plus, you can keep the rinds for some DIY Jello-shots).
When a fruit is featured in multiple Greek myths, you know it's got some mad significance behind it. Pomegranates with their pinky-red seeds make a great addition to this list.
In addition to being damn delicious, pomegranates are full of vital antioxidants that can relieve stress and prevent heart disease. And, word on the street is pomegranates are great aphrodisiacs. If you're in the market for that kind of thing, that is.
At the end of the day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about celebrating the fight against cancer and supporting all survivors of this terrible disease. And there's no better way to celebrate kicking cancer's ass with this festive pink drink.
Like its cousin white wine, rosé is relatively low in calories, while the added potassium can help lower blood pressure. Throw in the resveratrol (antioxidants found in the skin of grapes), and feel free to rosé all day.
We might still be a ways off from curing cancer altogether, but these pink treats definitely inspire those still fighting to hold their head up high and to never lose hope.