Heart Healthy Eating: The Power of Red and Brown
It’s Heart Month and Valentines Day, so what better colors to discuss for heart healthy eating than red and brown? We all know that heart healthy eating includes more fruits and vegetables, but sometimes the focus is only on green, which we will discuss in March, instead of the rainbow. Heart healthy eating is many things, but this week I won’t be writing about low fat and low sodium or the “don’ts”. I’m going to discuss some of the “do’s” of heart healthy eating. I’m going to discuss the fun foods!
Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and flavonoids that attack free-radicals and decrease inflammation, which is at the root of most chronic diseases, including heart disease. Some of the powerhouse antioxidants and phytochemicals include vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, as well as fiber, folic acid and potassium. Heart healthy eating is robust with healthy nutrients and packed with scrumptious flavor!
Heart Healthy Eating: Red
The deeper the red color, the more flavonoids. How many red foods (dye doesn’t count) can you eat this week? Many of these wonderful foods are perfect for Valentines Day romantic dinner!
- Red Grapes
- Chili peppers
- Red Peppers
- Red beans
Heart Healthy Eating: Brown
When it comes to brown, the darker the better! Chocolate just goes with Valentines Day, but when I talk heart healthy chocolate I’m talking about the high cocoa content because of the higher level of antioxidants (and lower fat). Besides the health benefit, rich dark chocolate is very satisfying with a small amount. Unlike it’s milk chocolate cousin, the more you eat the more you want!
- Coffee and black tea (which looks more dark brown!)
Try mixing the colors together!
Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in crushed almonds
Dark chocolate fondue with strawberries, cherries, raspberries as part of the dippers
Dark chocolate infused with red chili peppers
What combinations of red and brown do you like? How about a red wine pairing (or grape juice if you prefer)!