Think Red for Valentine’s Day — and Treat Your Heart Well!
Are you seeing red this month? We hope so – if it comes in the form of a sweet Valentine or a healthy fruit smoothie! Not so much if ‘seeing red’ means you’re dealing with anger which isn’t good for our stress levels or heart health. February 14th is Valentine’s Day which is filled with symbolic “heart” messages, but did you know that February is also National Heart Disease Awareness Month? Since red is the color of the month, here is some important health benefits on red fruit, courtesy of Nutrition and You. We suggest you find ways to treat yourself (and your sweetheart) to these nutritional powerhouses this month.
- Raspberries are among the fruits highest in anti-oxidants, which “have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neuro-degenerative diseases.” They also have a surprising amount of fiber for their small size.
- Strawberries (whether dipped in chocolate or not!) contain significant amounts of phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins and ellagic acid, which studies show “may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.”
- Apples, like raspberries, they contain high amounts of anti-oxidants and fiber. They also contain a number of B vitamins, which support your metabolism, and potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure and heart health by countering some of the effects of too much dietary sodium.
- Tomatoes (yes, technically they are a fruit!) are well known now for lycopene, a specific anti-oxidant that has been found to be especially effective in preventing cancer. According to the Food for Life Cancer Project, “lycopene helps prevent prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. There is also some evidence that cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast, and cervix could be reduced with increased lycopene intake.”
- Watermelon is another red-fleshed fruit which we may overlook especially in the winter months. While its abundant electrolytes and water content make it the perfect thirst-quencher in summer’s heat, watermelon is also an excellent source of Vitamin A, which supports vision and immunity. It also happens to have even more lycopene than raw tomatoes!
- We may not usually think of grapes as being red, but the red varieties contain resveratrol, which is a powerful anti-oxidant that has a protective role against not only heart disease, but also Alzheimer’s disease and viral infections.
Of course, an easy and convenient way to power up your heart is to get your fruit in with a real fruit smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café. Yes we have red (try the Rockin’ Raspberry or Strawberry Beach Smoothies) as well as many other tasty fruit choices. Contact us to cater your Valentine Day event or bring your sweetheart by to treat them to heart-healthy food with a tropical twist.