The Healthy Red, White and Blue Barbecue

Still feeling patriotic, attending family picnics, or just craving a few new fresh summer produce offerings? Hit a roadside farm stand and try a few of these (extremely healthy) picnic or barbecue worthy Red, White, and Blue Super Foods in your side dishes: 

Red: We all know tomatoes are bountiful and healthy, but if they aren’t your jam, try red peppers for a superfood punch! Red peppers have large amounts of Vitamin A (needed for healthy hair, skin, and bones), Vitamin C (immune system), and capsaicin (a natural chemical that helps alleviate inflammation). Grilled red peppers, onions, and Italian sausage sound delicious! A few other powerful red foods to consider- red potatoes and cherries. 

White: Did you know that white beans are high in soluble fiber? Soluble fiber helps clear dietary fat from our digestive tract, which in turn helps manage cholesterol. I love white chicken chili with navy beans, white kidney beans, and white northern beans, but in the summer, an avocado, arugula, red onion, and white beans salad with a dash of lemon is delicious!  

Blue: Of course blueberries1 are a delicious blue summertime classic with probable cognitive benefits, but what about, blue corn, blue carrots, or blue potatoes? All are healthy, blue, and have unique health properties.  Blue corn2  is linked in studies to reduced cholesterol and the prevention of metabolic disorders. Blue carrots3 or indigo carrots, are considered a memory-enhancing superfood and are also linked to improved eyesight and better immune responses. Try switching your chips with guacamole or fresh salsa to blue corn chips or warmed blue tortillas -YUM! 

-Written by Kristin Dean, Vivo Care Team
-Reviewed by Jamie Rincker, MS RD LDN 


  1. Miller MG, Hamilton DA, Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B. Dietary blueberry improves cognition among older adults in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Nutr. 2018;57(3):1169-1180. doi:10.1007/s00394-017-1400-8
  2. Herrera-Sotero MY, Cruz-Hernández CD, Trujillo-Carretero C, et al. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activity of blue corn and tortilla from native maize. Chem Cent J. 2017;11(1):110. Published 2017 Oct 30. doi:10.1186/s13065-017-0341-x
  3. Blando F, Marchello S, Maiorano G, et al. Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity in Anthocyanin-Rich Carrots: A Comparison between the Black Carrot and the Apulian Landrace “Polignano” Carrot. Plants (Basel). 2021;10(3):564. Published 2021 Mar 17. doi:10.3390/plants10030564