How many colors are on your plate? Before you dive into your next meal, notice if the shades of food look more like a gloomy day or a blooming flower garden.
If it looks like you could use more color, add in these tasty red foods. They’ll keep your heart healthy, too!
Red apples: All apples are a good source of pectin (soluble fiber) that lowers cholesterol. Red apples also contain flavonoids (antioxidants) that may help ward off certain diseases.
Snack tip: Dip apple slices in peanut butter.
Red beans: Four or more servings of beans per week may reduce risk for developing heart disease as much as 22 percent. Beans are an excellent source of plant protein and soluble fiber, which help lower blood cholesterol. (Did you know: black and kidney beans can also aid in cancer prevention?)
Side tip: Mix 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained, with 1 can drained corn and 2 cups Meijer Pico de Gallo.
Red grapes: Loaded with antioxidants, red grapes support healthy blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and help protect the heart from damage related to a high-salt diet. Nutrients in red grapes also help to improve cholesterol and blood vessel function.
Fast lunch: Mix shredded or canned chicken with cut grapes, chopped walnuts, diced celery and a touch of poppyseed salad dressing; roll up in a whole grain wrap or romaine lettuce leaf.
Red-skinned potatoes: In the produce world, potatoes are at the top of the pack as an excellent source of potassium—significantly more than the potassium in a banana. Potassium promotes healthy blood pressure and heart function.
Side tip: Quarter and boil red-skinned potatoes until fork-tender; gently toss with olive oil and garlic pepper.
Beets: Studies have shown that the juice from red beets may help reduce high blood pressure.
Side tip: Coat fresh beet chunks with olive oil, ground thyme, salt and pepper. Roast at 400°F for 35 to 40 minutes; remove from oven and gently toss with 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar plus ¼ cup orange juice.