February – the month of LOVE. We at Movara would love to help you love your heart with heart-healthy RED foods.
Beets: Don?t be nervous if your urine turns red after you eat these, it just loves that red color as much as your heart! Beets are rich in folate, a B vitamin which is necessary for healthy cell growth and division. As our bodies (including our hearts) heal and repair, we need vital nutrition in order to do so. In addition, beets have the ability to dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow to and from the heart. In fact, many athletes use beets and beet juice as a performance enhancer?it?s called beet doping!
Red Bell Peppers: Did you know that 1 red bell pepper has more Vitamin C than an orange? Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which can help reduce inflammation associated with heart disease. They are so versatile to: you can eat them raw, roasted, in soups, pastas, with dip?options are endless.
Raspberries and Strawberries: Berries are high in soluble fiber, a type of fiber that binds excess cholesterol and carries it out through the stool, therefore lowering cholesterol levels. Other soluble fiber rich foods include oats, beans, barley and sweet potatoes/yams.
Tart Cherries: Did you know that tart cherries have been shown to fight inflammation more effectively than NSAIDs? Since inflammation can cause plague build up and be a precursor to heart related events, we encourage you to add these to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal or eat them as snacks! Take advantage of frozen when they aren?t in season.
Tomatoes: The antioxidant Lycopene is what gives tomatoes their red color. It?s also responsible for fighting inflammation and being heart protective. The effectiveness actually increases as a tomato is cooked, so take advantage of tomato sauces, put them in chili or soups and use diced cooked tomatoes.
Much love to you and yours (and your heart!) this month!
Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD