Organization touts cherries to help Americans eat heart-healthy red foods.
Red goes well with February, the month of Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, and it’s become customary to wear red during the month. Health and nutrition experts say we need to eat red, as well, to help protect our hearts.
Discover the power of eating heart-healthy red foods during the first National Eat Red Week, February 4-10.
Why eat red? Science suggests the pigments that make up the red color in many fruits and vegetables like tart cherries and tomatoes are powerful disease-fighting antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation associated with atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries and reduce certain risk factors for heart disease.
A recent study from the University of Michigan revealed that cherry-enriched diets in animals lowered total blood cholesterol levels and reduced triglycerides (fatty acids), major risk factors for heart disease. With more than 80 million Americans living every day with some form of heart disease, scientists are increasingly studying the heart health impact of the foods we eat.
“We’ve always known fruits and vegetables were ‘healthy,’ but now we’re beginning to better understand precisely why,” says Dr. Steven F. Bolling, a cardiac surgeon at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center who also heads the U-M Cardioprotection Research Laboratory.
“Researchers are uncovering the unique potential for plant compounds, like those in cherries, to affect multiple heart health factors. For cherries, we’re learning the benefits may come from effects on both cholesterol levels and inflammation.”
Dried cherries are certified by the American Heart Association. To help raise funds in support of the American Heart Association’s mission, for every person who visits www.ChooseCherries.com to learn more about the heart-health benefits of cherries, a donation will be made in their name (up to $5,000).
Cherries are being hailed by nutrition leaders as one of today’s hottest “Super Fruits.” According to Doctor of Public Health, registered dietitian and author of the newest edition of The SuperFoodsRx™ series, The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients, Dr. Wendy Bazilian, cherries have quite an untold story.
“Most people don’t realize tart cherries are loaded with antioxidants, as many as blueberries in fact, and are linked to many potential health benefits including reducing risk factors for heart disease,” says Dr. Bazilian. “What’s especially great about these cherries is that they’re available year-round as dried, frozen and juice. And, they’re versatile enough for just about every eating occasion from breakfast to snacks to salads.”