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Go Red! The Best Foods for a Healthy Heart

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It's Heart Health Month! And with Valentine's Day around the corner, the month is abuzz with the color red. Because of that, you may be curious if there are any red foods that are particularly good for heart health, and it turns out that there are several...

...Here are my favorites!


  • Beets: Beets have anthocyanins in them which give them such a deep red color, and anthocyanins are also powerful antioxidants that can  protect the heart. Think you don't like beets? Try them roasted to bring out surprising, sweeter flavors.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes and tomato products (such as tomato sauce, tomato paste and salsa) are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which protects from free-radical damage. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, another nutrient especially important for heart health. Try tomatoes at every meal- they are great as a part of an omelet at breakfast, on a sandwich at lunch, and as tomato sauce over pasta at dinner.
  • Red Bell Peppers: Red bell peppers are packed with antioxidants- so much so that one red bell pepper has three times the vitamin C as an orange! Plus, it contains heart-healthy fiber, which can help keep cholesterol in check. Try snacking on strips with hummus.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries are a great source of folate, which is important for overall heart health. You've probably already enjoyed these red berries over cereal or in a smoothie, but try them in a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette for a tasty new combination.
  • Cherries: Cherries are a great heart-healthy fruit because not only do the provide antioxidants like vitamin C, they also are a good source of fiber and potassium, so they can help your heart by keeping your blood pressure in check. For a sweet and tart snack, snack on cherries plain or add to low-fat vanilla yogurt.
  • Grapes/Red Wine: Both red wine and grapes (specifically concord grapes) contain proanthocyanins and other flavonoid polyphenols, which have been shown to promote healthy, clear arteries by creating an anti-clotting effect. One glass of red wine per day is all you need to gain some heart-health benefits-- more than that could have the opposite effect. And if you don't drink, don't start, instead snack on grapes or have a small glass of 100% concord grape juice, such as Welch's, each day to reap the benefits.

So "Go Red!" this month by including these heart healthy red foods in your diet!

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