Fall in Love with Red Produce This Month
By Ali Struhs
Red, the color of love, is everywhere you turn in February. But skip the candy aisle and take a look in the produce section for red fruits and vegetables that are heart healthy and can contribute to a balanced diet. Vibrant, crimson produce is rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and nutrients that may even lower cholesterol. Now, that is a food to love! This month, fall in love with red produce. Here are six cardinal-colored fruits and vegetables to add to your healthy Jenny Craig menu.
Dreaming of summer? Bite into a slice of watermelon for a refreshing snack that is packed with antioxidant lycopene. Add this sweet, juicy melon to salad, desserts, and as a side to burgers and sandwiches. For a creative take on watermelon, chop up bite-size pieces and combine with cilantro, cucumber, jalapeno, and lime juice to make a salsa to put on top of the Baja-Style Chicken Quesadilla.
The quintessential berry, strawberries are loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C and folate, which greatly benefits the heart. Top your cereal or waffles in the morning with sliced, fresh strawberries, or add a few frozen strawberries to the creamy Chocolate Dream Shake.
When you think of red fruits and vegetables, you probably first think of tomatoes. Whether sundried or fresh off of the vine, tomatoes are the perfect addition to pasta dishes and pizza. Sneak in tomatoes, which are rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants, in the morning by adding them to the Jenny Craig Breakfast Scramble for a satisfying start to your day. This heart-healthy fruit is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene.
A perfect addition to Mexican dishes, the red pepper contains as much vitamin C as an orange. Spice up a Beef & Cheese Slider with strips of red pepper, and, of course, don’t forget to add juicy, red tomato slices, too.
Cranberries are superheroes when it comes to fighting bacteria that stick to urinary tract and stomach walls and cause infections and ulcers. Cranberries also are loaded with vitamin C and fiber. You don’t have to wait until November to give thanks for a delicious meal. Add freshly cooked crimson cranberries that are sweet and tart to the Roasted Turkey Medallions or Turkey & Wild Rice.
A powerhouse of benefits for your heart, pomegranates may possibly keep harmful plaque from blocking blood vessels by reducing LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. Add the vibrant fruit’s seeds to salads and yogurt, sprinkle on waffles or and cereal, or add 1 oz. pure pomegranate juice to a Vanilla Cream Shake.