Red Foods that Promote Heart Health

In commemoration of February,  and also American Hearth Month (Dulan), below is a list of four red foods that provide the ultimate heart health.  Enjoy!

1.  Strawberries – Did you know that amount of Vitamin C in an orange is equivalent to the amount of Vitamin C in eight strawberries (Dulan)?  Another health benefit of strawberries is that they contain folate which is great for your heart (Mann).  Try to keep in mind when purchasing these fruits that they are on the “Dirty Dozen” list.  Pesticides from conventional farming practices do adhere easily to these fruits, so if your budget allows, it is best to purchase organic strawberries.

2.  Red Bell Peppers – Unlike green bell peppers, red bell peppers contain lycopene, a compound that not only fights against heart disease, but also certain types of cancers (Dulan).  In addition, red bell peppers have plenty of antioxidants, including Vitamin A and C, and in a mere cup, there are approximately 160 milligrams of potassium (Dulan)!  Again, because red bell peppers don’t have much of a protective exterior, pesticides leach onto them easily; therefore,  if your budget allows, buy organic here too!

3.  Red Grapefruit – Pink grapefruit has just as many health benefits, but try to stay away from the white, which doesn’t contain lycopene (Mann).  Red grapefruit is a great source of Vitamin C, as well as pectin, which helps the body regulate cholesterol levels (Mann).  Keep in mind that red grapefruit are on the “Clean Fifteen” list, making it perfectly legitimate to buy them conventionally grown.  Its firm exterior blocks pesticides from reaching the fruit inside.

4.  Cranberries – These berries have a mega-house of nutrients known as proanthocyanidins which are especially important because they help the body prevent and ward off cancer by defending it against free radicals (Mann).  Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to incorporate cranberries into your diet, so here are a few suggestions:  1)  Whenever you prepare a roasted chicken, use cranberries for the stuffing (Mann)  2)  Toss a handful of fresh cranberries into your morning oatmeal  3)  Add cranberries to homemade bread, muffin, or pancake recipes

Let me know how you like to enjoy these four heart healthy foods!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Works Cited

Dulan, Mitzi.  “5 Red Foods to Eat for Your Heart.”  U.S. News  5 Feb. 2013:  Web.  3 Jan. 2014. <http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/02/05/5-red-foods-to-eat-for-your-heart>

Mann, Denise. “Red Foods: The New Health Powerhouses?”  WebMD.  WebMD, LLC, 2008.  Web.  3 Jan. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/red-foods-the-new-health-powerhouses>

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5 thoughts on “Red Foods that Promote Heart Health

  1. Sam LaRussa

    Hi Katie,

    Once again, a great post. Sorry I haven’t responded lately; I’ve been a bit busy lately.

    This post made me wonder a bit about pesticides in cranberry crops, as you didn’t list their pesticide status like you did for the rest of the foods. I was wondering if this was because there isn’t much info out there on the subject, or if, perhaps because of the way in which cranberries grow, they didn’t really have so much in the way of traditional pesticides. I know nothing about cranberry cultivation, though, so I’m curious as to if you have an answer to this.

  2. Very nice article Katie. It’s too bad that red and pink grapefruit have heart healthy benefits and yet they are contra indicated for some folks with heart disease because they interfere with certain cholesterol medications.
    While you’re eating red, remember to wear red for women’s earth health awareness on Friday Feb. 7.

  3. Erin LaRosa

    One of my family’s favorite dinners is cranberry chicken. We simmer the cranberries in a sauce till they burst then serve it over rice with chicken. Yum! So tangy and sweet. We also eat a lot of dried cranberries, especially on salad. I also love beets on my salad. They are SO red they’ve got to be good for you, right?!

  4. El

    I enjoy everything and all of the red fruits, I especially enjoy strawberry cranberry salad
    with balsamic vinegar. I like beets warm with a hint of olive oil and vinegar.

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