The rich, vibrant, colorful beet is a root vegetable that is packed with heart-protective antioxidants. These red or purple veggies contain manganese, folate, and vitamin B2. The potassium found in beets helps decrease sodium levels in your bloodstream that can contribute to high blood pressure. Tasty beets can be enjoyed shredded on top of a salad, roasted in the oven, or pickled for a tangy treat. Try pureeing beets with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and olive oil for a tasty beet hummus. Serve with veggies or pita chips.
The colorful skins of purple grapes are rich in anthocyanins, which protect your heart against the buildup of cholesterol. A compound called resveratrol is a polyphenol found in the skin of purple or dark red grapes. Polyphenols appear to act as antioxidants in the body, decreasing inflammation, lowering bad cholesterol, and preventing heart attacks. In addition, the pulpy flesh of the grapes themselves also contains phenols, which offer cardiac protection, so the lighter-colored green grapes are good for your heart as well. Pop them by the handful, flash freeze a batch to add to smoothies, or enjoy them as a refreshing snack in the heat of summer.
Tomatoes are a delicious source of lycopene, beta-carotene, folate, and potassium. Rich in antioxidants, they prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Eating tomatoes can also help lower your cholesterol and prevent high blood pressure. Sweet and juicy tomatoes come in a variety of sizes. You can chop them to enjoy in salsa, slice them on top of a salad, or pop bite-sized grape tomatoes as a snack.