Go Red: 6 Red Foods To Supercharge Heart Health It’s time for the ultimate red month again, not just for Valentine’s Day, but also for Heart Month celebrations across the country. Not only can red foods decorate your dish with vibrancy, they also deliver impressive nutrients and antioxidants that you can’t find anywhere else. 6 Red Superfoods To Enjoy: Beets The unglamorous rough peel hides a colorful, tasty gem – when cooked, beets’ texture changes from crunchy to soft, and the sweet taste is a pleasant bonus! Beet’s deep reddish purple hue is due to a powerful set of pigments called betacyanins, which have been shown to be powerful cancer fighters. Studies confirmed beets to be helpful in reducing inflammation and protecting against heart disease. Red Lentils Despite the name, red lentils appear more orange than red. And once they are cooked, their color will be even lighter. But this color change does not make red lentils nutritionally inferior. In fact, red lentils are fiber-superstars! ½ cup of dry split red lentils provide 18 grams of fiber. Of which, 4 g is indeed cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber; that’s actually more soluble fiber than a bowl of oatmeal! Split red lentils are rather quick to cook: no rinsing, just 5 to 10 minutes of boiling. Pomegranates The unique antioxidant found in many red fruit – anthocyanins – is one of the many heart-smart nutrients found in pomegranates. In particular, studies found that pomegranate juice can improve blood flow in patients with heart disease, and prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Some people found it time-consuming to de-seed pomegranates; well it’s more convenient now! Pre-seeded pods are now available at your supermarkets in the produce fridge aisle, usually where other cut fruits are located. Pink Grapefruit Fully in season this time of the year, pink grapefruit actually has more perks than their usual white counterpart! Pink grapefruit contains more lycopene, vitamin C, as well as pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. As grapefruit has potential interactions with certain drugs, check with your pharmacist or doctor before making grapefruit a regular staple. Red Grapes Similar to grapefruit, you may also want to choose red grapes over green grapes! The skin on grapes are indeed nutritional gems! The darker or redder the skin, the more antioxidants it contains. You must have heard about the heart health benefits of red wine; they are indeed derived from the skin of the grapes. In particular, anthocyanins and flavonoid resveratrol are the powerful duo making red grapes an all-star heart-healthy superfood! Raspberries Everyone always says how much they love strawberries. But really, raspberries deserve the same amount of love. One cup of raspberries provides merely 52 calories but delivers 7 grams of fiber! And more, raspberries are a rich source of the flavonoids quercetin and gallic acid, both of which have been shown to play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. In particular, quercetin is powerful in protecting conditions related to the blood vessels including atherosclerosis and other circulation problems. A healthy diet and active lifestyles are your best weapons in the prevention of heart disease. Eat red foods more often and make smart choices today to benefit your heart and overall health.