Heart-healthy food during Heart Month
February is American Heart Month, a time to focus on keeping our hearts healthy and happy. Fruits and vegetables are nature’s superstars when it comes to heart health, packing a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can work wonders for your cardiovascular system.
- Red Fruits and Vegetables: Think berries, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and watermelon. These are loaded with antioxidants like lycopene, which combats harmful free radicals and reduces inflammation.
- Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables: Carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, and oranges are rich in beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A, crucial for healthy vision and cell growth.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Spinach, kale, collard greens, and broccoli are powerhouses of nutrients like folate, potassium, and magnesium, all essential for keeping blood pressure in check and blood flowing smoothly.
Fiber Fantastic: Fruits and vegetables are also fantastic sources of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to reap the heart-healthy benefits.
Creative Cuisine: Don’t let “eat your veggies” become a boring mantra. Get creative! Blend berries into smoothies, roast Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze, add chopped spinach to an omelet, or whip up a refreshing fruit salad.
Make it a lifestyle: Remember, February is just a starting point. Incorporate these heart-healthy fruits and vegetables into your diet year-round for a lifetime of benefits. Your heart will thank you!
So, this February, let’s celebrate American Heart Month by filling our plates with vibrant fruits and vegetables. It’s a delicious and nutritious way to show your heart some love!
The fruit and vegetable plate shown on the cover was created and photographed by an Indian-American teenager, a senior in high school. She is an artist who loves to paint and loves to read in her spare time.