(WJBK) - With Valentine's Day and National Heart Health Month in the same month February is a great time to incorporate some red into your diet.
Antonio Stephan from Lifetime Fitness joins us on The Nine to give us a list of red foods to incorporate into our diet.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are loaded with an antioxidant lycopene, which protects the heart and body from free radical damage produced from every day stressors. Tomatoes are loaded with potassium which is essential for a healthy heart. Try tomatoes on omelets, on top of turkey burgers, or as a sauce over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for a heart healthy alternative to pasta!
- Red bell peppers: These nutrient powerhouses are packed with antioxidants! One red bell peppers has three times the vitamin C as an orange and much less sugar! Fiber is key for heart health and red bell peppers are loaded with fiber that can help reduce cholesterol levels. A great snack is diced bell peppers and hummus!
- Strawberries: Natures candy! A very high fiber, low sugar fruit that is loaded with folate which helps reduce inflammation and risk for heart disease. You can have these as a stand alone for a great dessert, but you can also add these to yogurt and cottage cheese for a high protein snack. Also, try adding them into a salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing for a tasty combination!
- Cherries: These are a favorite heart healthy fruit because they are a great source of potassium and fiber. Cherries are loaded with heart healthy antioxidants. Incorporating cherries into foods like greek yogurt is a delicious sweet and tart snack that can help your heart by keeping your blood pressure in check
- Red wine: Everybody wants to know the scoop on red wine! Red wine contains proanthocyanins and other nutrients which have been shown to improve blood flood in the arteries which is essential for a healthy heart. One glass of red wine per day is enough to show some heart-health benefits. Don't go drinking multiple glasses to gain more benefits, as research has shown consuming more than 1-2 glasses can have a negative effect on heart health. If you do not currently drink, I don't recommend starting just to gain heart health benefits as you can incorporate whole food options instead to gain the health benefits.