Having a heart attack changed everything about the way I lived, especially the way I ate. My food colors of choice had always been brown and white; the colors of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cream gravy and chocolate. Brown foods are out (because most of them are fried) and white foods are very limited, but in their place are much healthy colors. With the aid of a nutritionist I learned how to eat right by eating bright and my heart is healthier for it. To improve your heart health (overall health and waistline too), make sure your plate contains some of these bright-colored foods at every meal.
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and are loaded with lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers.
Cherries increase the amount of melatonin in the body and act as a natural sleep aid when eaten as a bedtime snack. And getting enough sleep is essential for warding off heart disease and a host of other ailments.
Red bell peppers are versatile and loaded with lutein, a compound that reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Red beets get their bright color from betalain, a substance that naturally flushes toxins out of the body.
Potassium-rich bananas have long been known to help ward off heart diseases by helping to keep blood pressure stable.
One cup of pineapple each day can help keep you cancer-free. The yellow tropical fruit is rich in manganese, a nutrient that works to keep cancer-causing free-radicals out of body cells.
Corn is rich in beta-cryptoxanthin and those who indulge in its yellow-kernel goodness regularly reduce their risk of lung cancer by one-fourth.
Leafy green spinach is rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that helps build strong bones.
Compounds found in broccoli act as a natural sunscreen and help protect skin against sunburn.
Limes contain cancer-fighting compounds which remain in the blood stream for up to 24 hours after eating.
Carrots are good for both the eye sight and the heart. The beta carotene helps reduce the risk of heart attacks by slightly over one-half.
Cantaloupe is rich in vitamin C and revs up the immune system to ward off infections.
Sweet potatoes are rich in the vitamin A that keeps skin youthful looking.
Blue and Purple
Blueberries are sometimes referred to as the ultimate brain-food because they guard against the development of Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
Purple cabbage (aka red cabbage) contains much more heart-healthy vitamin C than its green cousin.
Blackberries are rich in salicylate, which is a natural pain reliever.
Raisins are loaded with boron, a mineral that help relieve menopausal symptoms.
Garlic contains sulfur compound which reduce the risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure, both of which help keep the heart health.
Cauliflower is rich in omega-3 and vitamin K, white cauliflower reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer by reducing chronic inflammation within the body.
Linus Pauling Institute
American Heart Association