February is Heart Health Month, which means that Fitness Together is bringing attention to the American Heart Association’s program Go Red for Women (http://www.goredforwomen.org/). This program serves as a reminder that heart disease is still the number one killer of women (and men) by providing you with information about heart disease, including facts and symptoms, as well as heart-healthy recipes and exercises.
There are many foods that you can eat to prevent heart disease, but for this blog post, we have chosen five heart-healthy foods that are also red. Try these:
Fresh tomatoes, or even cooked tomato products, such as tomato sauce or tomato paste, have large amounts of the powerful antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene, which is the plant pigment responsible for the tomato’s color, and has the ability to stop LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, from becoming oxidized by free radicals and forming arterial plaque. Tomatoes also help ward off prostate cancer in men.
- Red Bell Peppers.
Not only do these peppers carry three times the amount of Vitamin C that an orange does, but they are also packed with antioxidants and fiber, which help lower your cholesterol and keep your intestines in good shape.
The reddish-purple color of beets comes from plant chemicals called anthocyanins, which, along with flavonoid polyphenols, protect you from many diseases.
As the old adage goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber which blocks cholesterol absorption. And even the peels are good for you, as apple peels contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that prevent cellular damage from free radicals.
- Red Wine.
Although not technically a “food,” red wine is like liquid medicine for your heart. Studies have shown that drinking one glass of red wine a day with lunch or dinner promotes clear, healthy arteries. Red wine contains the powerful antioxidant resveratol, as well as flavonoids, which help to ease arterial inflammation.
If you would like more tips about nutrition or Heart Health Month, call Fitness Together Ellicott City today.