Heart disease is currently the leading cause of mortality worldwide, and it’s not always easy to keep your heart healthy in our fast-food laden world. But the good news? Simple diet changes can dramatically improve heart health. Read on for 5 simple recipes to show your heart some love.
While exercising, losing weight, and managing stress can improve heart health, eating a healthy diet is the best thing you can do for your heart.
The following 5 recipes are easy, delicious, and most importantly, heart-health boosting!
Oats provide cholesterol-lowering fiber, heart disease-fighting antioxidants, and high levels of vitamins and minerals such as manganese and zinc, while chia seeds and fruit boost your intake of omega 3s and antioxidants.
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
2 tsp sweetener, such as maple syrup
1 cup chopped fresh fruit, such as peaches or strawberries
Mix all ingredients except for fruit in a bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, add chopped fruit, mix, and dig in!
Mexican Sweet Potato
Beans have been shown to protect against inflammation, heart disease, and weight gain, while the high potassium content in sweet potatoes can help lower blood pressure.
1 sweet potato
½ cup black beans
¼ tsp each cumin, chili powder, garlic powder
2 Tbsp salsa
Roast sweet potato in oven for 45-60 minutes, until flesh is soft. Mash black beans with spices. Cut open sweet potato & top with mashed beans & salsa.
Cashew Caesar Salad
Traditional caesar salad dressings are high in calories and fats (many of them saturated) but low in nutrition. Try this cashew-based caesar dressing instead, as nuts have been shown to lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.
½ cup cashews
½ cup water
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 small lemons
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt/pepper to taste
Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix with your favorite greens and other veggies. (Makes 4 servings)
Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, while cocoa powder is high in antioxidants that help relax blood vessels. If you haven’t discovered the magic of frozen bananas yet, you’re in for a treat.
2 frozen bananas
1.5 Tbsp cocoa powder
To freeze bananas, simply chop into chunks & place in a plastic bag in the freezer. Add ingredients to a high-powered blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Presto, you’ve got delicious, healthy chocolate ice cream.
Avocado, Hummus & Veggie Sandwich
Avocados contain heart-healthy fats, which can help lower cholesterol, as well as significant doses of almost 20 additional vitamins & minerals. This sandwich also contains whole grains & tons of veggies, all of which lower the risk of heart disease.
2 slices whole grain bread
2 Tbsp hummus
Spread hummus on the bread. Layer the avocado, lettuce, and tomato as desired to make your sandwich.