Did you know that fruits and veggies are good for your heart? Many are high in soluble fiber, which can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol), blood pressure, and inflammation. Fruits and veggies are also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants – those are just big, fancy words that mean fruits and veggies are a good source of nutrition. To put it simply, fruits and veggies are really, really good for you.
Fruitsandveggies.org shares five simple ways to boost heart health with fruits and veggies:
- Include low sugar, canned fruit that’s a perfect pair for heart-healthy foods like low sodium cottage cheese, fiber-rich oatmeal, and non-fat, plain, Greek yogurt.
- Level up your sandwich with dark greens and sliced avocado to sneak in some veggies and do something great for your heart.
- Seek color! Visit your local farmers market or produce section for colorful fruits and veggies. Aim for your basket to reflect the rainbow.
- Roast, grill, sauté! Versatile veggies and greens can be prepared and enjoyed in a variety of ways. Add them to salads, grains, eggs and more. Or simply savor them alongside a lean protein for an easy dinner that comes together in minutes.
- Canned beans are a simple way to add protein to veggies, grains and more.
The best way to use fruits and veggies is to eat a variety, and eat them often. This will help you maximize your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When you eat them often, you’re adding much needed soluble fiber to your diet. Dark green veggies, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage), and citrus fruits are especially good for your heart.
This Valentine’s Day, if you’re enjoying a sweet treat to celebrate, make sure you get your fruits and veggies in, too. Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette is perfect for the occasion.
It’s sweet enough that you might not even need a sugary treat! The homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette is delicious.You can use whatever type of nuts you like, or have in your pantry. Same goes for the berries – use what you like, or what’s on sale at the grocery store. Enjoy!
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant