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Red peppers, radishes, and red potatoes for heart health

This month and during this uncertain time, we're asking you to rethink your reds! Eating too much red meat can not only lead to heart disease and cancer but may also shorten your lifespan (National Institutes of Health). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing about 1 in 4 deaths. Consuming high levels of both unprocessed (including beef, pork, and lamb) and processed (including bacon, hot dogs, and salami) red meats can put you at significant risk.

During the pandemic, we challenge you take the swap and try a delicious red vegetable, instead of red meat. You can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health through healthy lifestyle changes.

Make a list for the next time you visit the grocery store, and grab your favorite red vegetable, or try a new one that may be new to you and your family.

Here are our favorites:

  • Beets: Helps beat high blood pressure and fights inflammation
  • Red cabbage: Full of vitamin C, fiber and potassium
  • Tomatoes: Extremely delicious in all forms, but also a major source of lycopene, linked to reducing heart disease and cancer
  • Red bell pepper: Crisp and sweet and packed with antioxidants and folate
  • Radish: Immune booster with vitamins A, C and E
  • Red chili pepper: A bit of spice, with wound healing and potassium
  • Radicchio: A leafy cabbage-like vegetable high in calcium, iron and zinc
  • Red leaf lettuce: High in heart healthy nutrients and low in calories
  • Rhubarb: Sold by the stalk like celery, a great source of fiber, calcium and manganese
  • Red onion: Nutrient dense, cancer-fighting and antibacterial
  • Red potato: Extremely filling, with powerful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties

The list goes on, and on! If you’re looking to add red vegetables to your diet, try one of these healthy and nutrient-rich recipes. These recipes only include a few ingredients each, making for an easy, quick and extremely healthy snack, side or full meal.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

  • 2 or 3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 chopped jalapeño (or red chili pepper)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt, pepper and cilantro (optional) to taste

Prep all above ingredients and mix together. Place in refrigerator to chill. Serve as a side or try on top of chicken!

Garlic Red Potatoes

  • 2 pounds of red potatoes
  • Minced garlic to taste
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop red potatoes in quarters. Combine potatoes, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper in small bowl. Bake covered for 30 minutes until tender.

Meal Prep Baked Fajitas

  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 2 red peppers sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Fajita seasoning
  • Juice of one lime
  • Flour tortillas (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop red onion, red peppers and chicken breasts into strips and combine with favorite fajita seasoning into oven-safe dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Squeeze with lime juice. Eat alone or with flour tortilla. Pair with fresh tomato salsa for extra spice and health benefits!

To learn more about improving your health and reducing your risk of chronic disease, visit the Healthy Delaware blog page.