While wearing red raises awareness of heart disease, eating red may lower your chance of heart disease!

Share this post with the women in your life to encourage them to eat a heart-healthy diet! #GoRed

Some popular, good for you red vegetables:
  • Tomatoes are one of the most well-known of the red vegetables; this juicy item contains high levels of vitamins A and C, as well as heart saving lycopene. If you needed more good reasons to enjoy tomatoes, they are also a good source of potassium, have no cholesterol, and very little sodium. Tomatoes also contain carotenoids, a nutrient Harvard researches found eating plentiful amounts of can lower your risk of breast cancer 20%.
  • Beets are an often forgotten wonder food. Beets contain beta-carotene, vitamin A, B vitamins, and minerals including manganese and potassium.
  • Red Bell Peppers were recently labeled a “super food” because of its very high vitamin A, B6, C and E, and fiber levels. Red bell peppers also contain a healthy dose of phytochemicals such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene. One medium pepper contains 40 calories, 470% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, and 90% of the RDA for vitamin A. The pepper’s mild, earthy taste makes it a great addition to any meal.
  • Red Onions contain fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. These onions are also fat and cholesterol free and low in sodium!
Some popular, good for you red fruits:
  • Strawberries are a good source of folate, potassium, magnesium, iodine, manganese and vitamins K and C. Folate is known to help heart health and also decreases the risk of certain birth defects called neural tube defects.
  • Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins which can stop bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls and may even prevent the bacteria responsible for many stomach ulcers from sticking to the stomach walls. Cranberries have also been shown to cause the death of cancer cells in lab studies!
  • Raspberries’ antioxidant property is one of the highest among fruits. Preliminary research shows regular consumption of raspberries is beneficial in inflammation, pain, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and allergies.
  • Cherries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. This tangy fruit is one of the few food sources found to contain a significant amount of melatonin, an antioxidant which helps regulate the body’s natural sleep pattern and prevents memory loss.

The color of a fruit or vegetable says a lot about it – each different color contains unique phytochemicals that are essential to our health. Red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin among many other nutrients. Regular consumption of red fruits and veggies can help lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth, reverse the effects of harmful free-radicals and support joint tissue in arthritis cases. The National Cancer Institute even recommends the consumption of deep red or bright pink fruits and vegetables daily!

One of the main good-for-you nutrients in red foods is lycopene, a carotene that helps protect against several cancers and heart disease. Lycopene is oil-soluable, so a tip to increase your absorption is to combine your red vegetables with a little olive oil. With the help of a little oil, your body can absorb 70% of the lycopene in a tomato.

Another important group of nutrient found in red foods are anthocyanins, a group of powerful antioxidants that help control high blood pressure and protect against diabetes-related circulatory complications. Good sources of anthocyanins include: raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, red cabbage, kidney beans, cherries, beets, and red apples.

While fruits and vegetables are an incredibly healthy part of your diet, many are high in natural sugars and other carbohydrates. You can balance the benefits with the need to consider total consumption of natural sugars by continuing to eat healthy sources of protein and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

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