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Five Colorful Foods for Heart Health

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in all the colors is good for your heart. Here are the five color categories with examples of each and the nutrients of each.

  • Red & Pink: i.e. cherries, beets, cranberries, radishes, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, pomegranates; rich in the lycopene, which is a carotenoid that helps your body make vitamin A, and anthocyanins, which have powerful antioxidant properties that may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Blue & Purple: i.e. blackberries, blueberries, dates, eggplant, plums, grapes; contain anthocyanins as well, plus flavonoids and ellagic acid, compounds that may destroy cancer cells according to the American Institute for Cancer Research

  • Yellow & Orange: i.e. pineapple, papaya, pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, lemons, oranges; rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps keep your skin, teeth and bones healthy. They also contain lutein, which is beneficial for eye health.

  • White: i.e. apples, bananas, cauliflower, garlic, onions, potatoes, parsnips; high in dietary fiber, helping to protect you from high cholesterol, and the antioxidant-rich flavonoid quercetin, abundant in apples and pears. They may also lower your risk of stroke, according to a study published with the American Heart Association in 2011.

  • Green: i.e. artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, kale, spinach, zucchini, peas; good for your eyes, bones and teeth, and their vitamin K content helps your blood to clot properly. These foods' antioxidant vitamins, particularly vitamins C and E, may lower your risk of chronic diseases. They also provide the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect you from eye diseases such as macular degeneration.

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