Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? February is American Heart Month. Learn more about heart disease and how you can take control of your health.
What can you do?
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are two main risk factors for heart disease. Help to lower your risk of heart disease by watching what you eat. You may already know it’s important to focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, fish and lower or fat-free dairy. But there are three red foods in particular that could mean a healthier heart. Research has shown that eating apples, cranberries and tomatoes can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 40 percent.
Among other benefits, apples can help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Apples – the peels in particular – are rich in antioxidants that your body needs.
Drinking up to three cups of cranberry juice daily can raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease. It can also help prevent the clogging of arteries.
Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene-rich foods have been shown to reduce coronary disease risk. For added benefit, cook the tomatoes, since lycopene is better absorbed when heated.
- NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute