Are you worried about your heart? Don't feel blue. Go red, and eat red foods for your heart.
This novel idea comes from the American Heart Association, which advocated that men and women eat red-colored foods to protect their hearts.
1. Red apples. Apples are rich in quercetins, a substance known to protect against Alzheimer's disease and many cancers. Studies show that people who eat an apple a day have lower chances of getting lung cancer and Alzheimer's disease when compared to non-fruit eaters. Even smokers who often eat apples can somehow minimize the risk of getting cancer. Apple skins contain pectin, which some studies show can lower bad cholesterol by as much as 16%. Apples may also prevent diabetes and childhood asthma. Eating the fiber-rich skin of the apple also has additional health benefits of having better skin, more regular bowel movement and lower risk for colon cancer.
2. Red watermelon. According to the US Department of Agriculture, watermelon may be beneficial for the heart and blood vessels. Researchers report that eating watermelons increases our body's argentine levels, an important amino acid Arginine is a component needed to produce nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes the blood vessels, improves blood flow and may protect us from a heart attack and stroke.
3. Red grapes. Red grapes contain falconoid which increase good cholesterol levels in the body and prevents blockage of arteries.
4. Red wine. Red wine contains reservation which also increases good cholesterol levels and blocks fat in the body. But be sure to follow the recommended daily intake. Men can have up to 2 glasses per day while women can have 1 glass per day.
5. Tomatoes, Red tomato, catsup or tomato sauce. Researchers have found that these are also healthy for the heart. Consume 10 spoons per week to avoid heart problems.
A terrific source of vitamin C with a touch of vitamin A, potassium and fiber thrown in for good measure, tomatoes don’t just taste great, they’re also good for you. (Hard to believe that at one time they were thought to be poisonous!) Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that fights skin aging and may be beneficial against cancer and heart disease.
6. Cherries: Rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanin (believed to reduce pain and inflammation), cherries have been purported to fight myriad diseases, including diabetes, cancer, arthritis and gout. Cherries are also a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin A.
7. Pomegranate: A near-icon of fertility in much of its native range (Iran to the Himalayas), the pomegranate also has come to represent good health. Studies have shown that the fruit may help to reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure. Other research hints that pomegranate juice may help manage prostate cancer, diabetes, arthritis and erectile dysfunction. Experts believe that pomegranate’s benefits come from its powerful punch of polyphenols—including anthocyanins (found in blue, purple and deep-red foods) and tannins (also found in wine and tea).
8. Beets: With an earthy flavor that gets super sweet when cooked, beets are very nutritious: 1/2 cup of cooked beets has just 29 calories but boasts 2 grams of fiber and provides 19 percent of the daily value for foliate, a B vitamin needed for the growth of healthy new cells. Plus their beautiful color comes from betanin, a photochemical that’s thought to bolster immunity. Roast them, pickle them or shred them raw and dress them with citrus for a refreshing salad in these 4 quick and easy beet recipes.
9. Chile Peppers: Capsaicin, an antioxidant in chilies, thwarts food spoilage and may protect blood vessels. It also makes peppers hot—in more ways than one (hence the spicy folklore that piquant peppers rev up sexual desires). Studies show that capsaicin increases the body’s metabolic rate and may stimulate brain chemicals that help us feel less hungry. In a 2005 study in the International Journal of Obesity, people ate 16 percent fewer calories at a meal if they sipped tomato juice spiked with hot-pepper extract (versus plain tomato juice) a half hour earlier.