Thursday, February 16, 2012

Let's Eat Red

Eating red is a great habit all your life but is especially important in those wonderful later years. 

February is National Heart Month 

It's a time when we see red hearts in every window and red roses on every desk because of the popular holiday, Valentine's Day, a time when to remind those we love just how much it is that we love them and tell them so in sweet ways.

Many wear red on the first day of February as National Wear Red Day and the fashion industry went a step forward to create Red Dress Day to focus on the concerns of Heart Disease among women.


Colorful fruits and vegetables are one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat. Just take a look at the 'heart-shaped' strawberry and you will realize the benefits of its antioxidant-rich qualities.  Now there is evidence of a direct link between these antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of stroke among women.

In the December 2011 edition of the journal STROKE, a Swedish study is credited with the 10 year investigation of the diets of about 38,000 women between the ages of 49-82 and their findings were amazing.  In the study approximately 31,000 women in this group had no signs of heart disease while about 5,700 of them did have a history of heart disease.

What the researchers found was that the women who had the highest levels of diet-based antioxidants in BOTH groups had a significantly lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest dietary antioxidant capacity.   Why? The antioxidant vitamins in fruits and vegetables, such as Vitamin C, E, and A, and the phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids, are believed to help the body to fight free radicals which can contribute to heart disease and stroke.

We can't change our age or family history to reduce our risk of heart disease, but we can change our diets. Let's begin with the addition of one more fruit or vegetable at every meal? A roasted red pepper, side of red cabbage or a bowl or luscious strawberries would be a great way to start!

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