It’s Heart Month: Wear Red—But Eat Blue for Heart Health
We all know that red hearts are associated with Valentine’s Day, so it seems fitting that February is also designated as Heart Month. There’s even a “wear red” day (Feb 5) to help draw attention to heart disease—still a leading cause of death in both the U.S. and Canada. Heart Month is also meant to remind us that we can take an active role in promoting our own cardiovascular health by considering our lifestyle and habits.
Pack more produce into your diet
Eating a healthy diet is a primary way to support cardiovascular health. Along with consuming whole grains, lean protein sources, and limiting unhealthy saturated and trans fats, simply eating more fruits and vegetables can help in the fight against heart disease.
Eating more produce, says the Mayo Clinic, can also help you cut back on less heart-healthy foods.According to the Centers for Disease Control, getting plenty of produce helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure, obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors, yet fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and teens eats the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
The key to the benefits of blue
All fruits and vegetables are nutritious, but choosing a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is what the American Heart Association encourages us to eat to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Deeply colored berries, like Wild Blueberries, are a perfect pick. When compared to other popular fruits, Wild Blueberries contain the highest level of purply-blue pigments (called anthocyanins) compared to all other popular fruits. Anthocyanins have been shown to protect the cardiovascular system in a few ways.
How anthocyanins help heart health
Through new research scientists are learning more about how Wild Blueberry anthocyanins can help improve the health of the heart and circulatory system. For example, in a selection of long-term human population studies, greater anthocyanin intake was associated with:
- a significantly lower incidence of coronary artery disease and risk of heart attack
- a reduction in blood pressure
- healthier blood vessels
Eat Wild Blueberries to your heart’s content
Studies suggest that getting anthocyanins in your diet regularly—even in moderate amounts, such as what you would use on cereal or a cup of yogurt— is likely an important factor in reaping their beneficial impacts on chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease. In other words, when it comes to Wild Blueberries, a great place to start is by adding a scoop a day to your breakfast. You can easily add ½ a cup (or more) to a daily smoothie or on top of a bowl of oatmeal.
And, while muffins and pie make a lovely treat for your Valentine, the versatility of Wild Blueberries makes it easy to expand your recipe repertoire. Our large recipe collection includes everything from apps to entrees, or smoothies to sweets. You truly can eat Wild Blueberries to your heart’s content year-round, since frozen Wild Blueberries are widely available and the freezing process helps maintain their nutritional characteristics (not to mention their great taste).