Heart disease doesn’t care what color your dress is, but eating plenty of red fruits and veggies can cut your risk of heart disease by up to 50%.
The bright hue of red foods signals lots of nutrition in every bite. Red fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, which help turn carbohydrates, fats and proteins into usable energy for the body. These foods also contain antioxidants, which protect DNA from oxidative damage and, therefore, prevent disease.
Many red fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants — such as lycopene and anthocyanins — that may do everything from fight heart disease and prostate cancer to decrease the risk for stroke and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in people aged 60 and older). Antioxidants soak up damaging free radicals.
7 Red Foods For Healthy And Strong Heart
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene. Lycopene is a red pigment that has antioxidant properties and may in fact, be powerful anti-carcinogenic, as well as a good source of nutrition for eye and prostate health. Ironically, heating tomatoes, (tomato sauce, ketchup, and canned tomatoes) actually increases the levels of lycopene. The tomato is botanically part of the fruit family, Solanacea, but U.S. government agencies have quickly given it vegetable status, thus continuing the seesaw definition of fruit/vegetable that has confused many of us.
Tart cherries’ bright red color comes from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants researchers have attributed to the fruit’s unique health properties, from anti-inflammatory and heart-health benefits, to reduced post-exercise muscle and joint pain.
Red Kidney Beans
Deep-red kidney beans are an antioxidant-packed superfood for your heart. A half-cup serving of the legumes provides seven grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fiber, no saturated fat or cholesterol, and just 100 calories. They’re also rich in blood pressure-lowering potassium, and studies consistently show that diets rich in beans can help slash your risk for developing heart disease.
Red Bell Peppers
These are a particularly good choice for heart health as they are full of lycopene, which is not found in green peppers. They are also a source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and powerful antioxidant vitamins A and C, which are good for heart health.
Strawberries are another excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. Manganese is important in a variety of metabolic functions in the body- including: protection from free radicals, keeping bones strong, promoting optimal thyroid function, regulating blood sugar. This heart-shaped fruit is also high in fiber, iodine, potassium, folate, vitamin K, and magnesium .
Rich in antioxidants and fiber, red grapes are very heart-healthy. Red grapes have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and reduce heart muscle damage related to a high-salt diet. They have also been shown to reduce blood triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol levels, and improve blood vessel function. This heart health research on red grapes is impressive, so eat up!
Watermelon is a great source of lycopene, lycopene may decrease the risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol. And it decreases the risk for certain cancers, primarily prostate, as well as the risk of muscular degeneration, It also improves blood vessel function and lowers stroke risk.
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