Kick Off American Heart Month by Going Red — On Your Plate!

January 29th, 2018


There are plenty of reasons to follow a plant-based diet, and one of the best is for heart health. February is American Heart Month and to start things off early this Meatless Monday, we’re spotlighting several red foods that are not only delicious but also great for your heart! When you’re planning Meatless Monday meals this month, make sure to add a little red to every dish. There are so many options that running out of ideas is pretty much impossible.

Every food has its own nutritional perks. With a little help from the Seasonal Food Guide, here’s some information on what makes each of these red foods a great addition to your Meatless Monday meals.

Tomatoes

As the “Fruit Most Likely to Be Called a Vegetable,” tomatoes have a mild, sweet flavor that helps lighten up salads and provide a neutral base for sauces. Regardless of what you want to call them, the MVPs of the tomato’s nutrition are lycopene, an antioxidant linked to cancer prevention, and flavonoids, antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Basil Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes


Radicchio

These leafy reds are a staple in salads and are super rich in vitamin K, which is essential for blood and bone health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Grapefruit Radicchio Salad


Raspberries

Both bitter and sweet, raspberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C and E, potassium, and fiber. But most importantly for your heart, they contain pectin and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Rhubarb Raspberry Compote with Dumplings


Beets

The vibrant root vegetable is a great source of fiber, potassium, and magnesium as well as antioxidants and vitamin C. Even the greens are rich in vitamins C, A, K, calcium, iron and other important nutrients. Best of all, the entire beet is edible – no waste!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: My Heart Beets Salad


Cherries

Cherries are already chock full of antioxidants and vitamin C, but the source of its deep red color, anthocyanins, have been linked to a lowered risk for several diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and yes – heart disease!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis


Chili and Bell Peppers

While they come in many colors, chili peppers are generally associated with red-hot red! All peppers are rich in vitamins C, A, B6, and E as well as fiber, folate, and lycopene. So if you can’t take the heat, red bell peppers are also exceedingly nutritious. But chili peppers come with the added bonus of capsaicin, which may increase the rate of metabolism and provide you with a feeling of euphoria!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper and Red Bean “Meatballs”


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice


Pomegranates

The highly romantic fruit is filled with several nutrients including vitamins C and K. Pomegranates are also incredible sources of antioxidants such as polyphenols, which may lower the risk of heart disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Baked Pomegranate Yogurt Pudding


Rhubarb

The celery-like stalks are a great source of vitamins C and K. Its bitter taste pairs especially well with fruits that can temper rhubarb’s acidity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Rhubarb Nutmeg Bread


Strawberries

The only fruit that sports its seeds on the outside, strawberries are perfect sweets sources of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Strawberry Kale Salad with Almonds


Fruits, veggies, and other plant-based foods come in a huge palette of colors, all of which are great for you. For American Heart Month, make sure to add a dash of red each Monday!

We want to see what you’re eating for your heart! Join us in celebrating American Heart Month by sharing photos of your favorite heart-healthy meals featuring RED fruits and vegetables with #MeatlessMonday4Heart. Tag us @MeatlessMonday and we’ll repost the most popular pics!