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Celebrate American Heart Month by Eating Red
Date:2/4/2008

Science Suggests Red Foods, Like Tart Cherries, May Help Protect Your Heart

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- "Go red" or "wear red" have become universal mantras for promoting heart-health during February, American Heart Month. But health and nutrition experts say we should also be eating red to protect our hearts. Americans are encouraged to discover the power of eating heart-healthy red foods during the first-ever National Eat Red Week, Feb. 4-10.

Why eat red? Science suggests the pigments that make up the red color in many fruits and vegetables like tart cherries and tomatoes, are powerful disease-fighting antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation associated with atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries and reduce certain risk factors for heart disease.

A recent study from the University of Michigan (1) revealed that cherry-enriched diets in animals lowered total blood cholesterol levels and reduced triglycerides (fatty acids), major risk factors for heart disease. With more than 80 million Americans living every day with some form of heart disease, scientists are increasingly studying the heart health impact of the foods we eat.

"We've always known fruits and vegetables were 'healthy,' but now we're beginning to better understand precisely why," said Dr. Steven F. Bolling, a cardiac surgeon at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center who also heads the U-M Cardioprotection Research Laboratory. "Researchers are uncovering the unique potential for plant compounds, like those in cherries, to affect multiple heart health factors. For cherries, we're learning the benefits may come from effects on both cholesterol levels and inflammation."

Dried cherries are certified by the American Heart Association. To help raise funds in support of the American Heart Association's mission, for every person who visits http://www.choosecherries.com to learn more abo
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SOURCE The Cherry Marketing Institute
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