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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with red or heart-shaped food

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Katie Eliot is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Saint Louis University. He tells Tim Ezell about some new ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with healthy food.

Keep it simple. Look toheart shaped foods to protect your heart.

Strawberries and raspberries are loaded with vitamin C and an antioxidant known as polyphenol that prevents plaque from forming. Cherries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is thought to protect the blood vessels, and is high in potassium, which lowers blood pressure.

Tomatoes and red peppers are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is in many red fruits and vegetables and works magic by neutralizing free radicals. And acorn squash and apples contain loads of fiber, which reduces bad cholesterol that can clog up your arteries to cause heart attacks and stroke.

So, while the current recommendation is to eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day, Eliot adds a special suggestion for February, celebrate heart month and Valentine`s Day by making sure at least two of those five fruits and veggies are heart shaped or red.