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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Go Red for Women — and Your Heart

Published in Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It, Salads & Vegetables, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Danielle Armbrust,RD LD

Every February we celebrate American Heart Month and Go Red for Women Day. This year, I would encourage everyone not to just wear red, but to also think of ways to eat more red colored foods!

Did you know that there are many different red fruits and vegetables that are heart healthy? Some of them even have a similar shape to the heart. Think strawberries, beets, red bell peppers, tomatoes and pomegranates.

These foods, along with many others, contain a high level of antioxidants that help improve our heart health. Fruits and vegetables also are a great source of fiber, which can be helpful in lowering your cholesterol. Here are some ways to enjoy these foods.

  • Strawberries: While a bowl full of strawberries might be enjoyable enough, try adding them to some of your favorite meals. Use them to sweeten your favorite low sugar cereal or oatmeal. Strawberries are also a great addition to a spinach salad along with heart healthy walnuts and a low sodium balsamic vinegar dressing.
  • Beets: Try them roasted for a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. They also can be added to your favorite smoothie to brighten it up.
  • Red Bell Peppers: Snacking on red bell peppers along with hummus can be a refreshing snack. They also can be a nice slightly crunchy addition to a soup or chili recipe.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes can be incorporated in a variety of ways. Add fresh tomatoes to your salad or sandwich. Make homemade fresh salsa for a low sodium snack or incorporate into soups and chili.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Packed with antioxidants and fiber, pomegranate seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Currently in season, pomegranate seeds can sweeten up a fruit salad or yogurt. They also can be used to make a chutney or sauce.

Check out this Heart Healthy Vegetarian Chili recipe (PDF) that incorporates both tomatoes and red bell peppers. It's a great recipe to help you eat healthy and warm yourself inside during these “chilly” February days.