Seeing Red

Give your holiday meals a heart-healthy boost and a splash of color with luscious pomegranate seeds and tart cranberries. In addition to tasting great, these scarlet fruits may provide protection against heart disease. Numerous studies have shown that the antioxidants found in pomegranates and cranberries appear to reduce plaque formation in the arteries and may help repair blood-vessel damage.

Incorporating these gems into meals is easy, according to Carrie Balkcom, certified executive chef in Denver, who suggests:

Top grilled fish with pomegranate seeds combined with fresh banana slices and a generous splash of orange or lime juice.

Liven up steamed spinach by adding pomegranate seeds and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil and tangy citrus vinegar.

cranberriesSubstitute dried cranberries for raisins when baking.

Add fresh cranberry-orange relish to your holiday menus. Mix equal parts coarsely chopped cranberries and sectioned, chopped oranges; chill one hour or more, then adjust flavor to taste with honey or sugar.

— Anna Soref

Photography by: Jeff Padrick