by Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD, CDE at Lexington Medical Center
The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign brings awareness to the fight against heart disease in women. There a several lifestyle and dietary habits that can contribute to increased risk factors associated heart disease or stroke. On the positive side, there are several lifestyle habits such as daily exercise, drinking water, not smoking, and limiting alcohol that can help to reduce risks associated with heart disease.
Probably the most talked about is diet. In the spirit of Go Red for Women, I want to explore the benefits of adding red fruits and vegetables to our meals to “Just Say Know” to heart disease.
Red fruits and vegetables and their cousins blue and purple plants offer several health benefits associated with lowering risk factors of heart disease and stroke. Red foods have heart healthy folate, potassium and fiber. They also are sources of the antioxidants Vitamin C and A, and anthocyanin Lycopene that may help reduce the risk of developing cancers and developing macular degeneration (associated with blindness).
•Red Bell Peppers and Hot peppers
•Red New Potato