It’s National Heart Health Month. This vital organ tends to be taken for grated. But did you know that certain foods can boost our heart functions?
Our heart is an organ that pumps blood throughout the body, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes.
Here are some of my favourites heart healthy recipes.
Very Berry Breakfast Smoothie
Blend 1 handful of frozen mixed red berries, 250ml chilled unsweetened almond or rice milk, 2 dates, 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger,1 tbsp ground flaxseed, and 2 tsp fresh lemon juice.
Yummy Sweet Potato Toasts – a healthy breakfast or snack
They are a great source of B6 vitamin, which is great at breaking down homocysteine, a substance that contributes to the hardening of blood vessels and arteries, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health.
All you need to do is wash a sweet potato well under the tap. Dry it and cut it into slices of about 1 cm thick and pop into your toaster. You will need to toast them for two rounds.
Once done, you can use them instead of bread. Here you will find lots of topping ideas.
The ultimate porridge of champion
Studies have shown that regular oat consumption can help lower “bad” cholesterol.
If you have a slow cooker, this is a great breakfast to prepare the night before. Check out this recipe from Stephanie Dea who is a great fan of slow cooking. Alternatively, prepare your porridge as normal and add a handful of berries and 1 tablespoon of seeds for added antioxidants and healthy fats. They are all essential for good health.
Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and for the rest of the year!
These pancakes are made with whole grains which are excellent for heart health.
Orange vegetables like squash and sweet potato are packed with carotenoids, fibre and vitamins to help our heart. The added turmeric in this soup is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory capabilities. Many studies confirm this fact. Here is one study if you wish to find out more.
Pesto-crusted cod with Puy lentils – Super quick and healthy week day dinner
Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, cod and trout are high in omega 3. These fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the body and support heart health. Puy lentils and any other pulses, are high in fibre and rich in protein. They provide multiple phytochemicals that help reduce your risk of many health conditions, including heart disease. On top of that, this dish takes amazing and is so quick to prepare.
This recipe from The Scrumptious Pumpkin blog is a great alternative to the traditional Shepherd’s pie made with mince meat. I really like black beans because they are softer than kidney beans so easier to digest. Also, they contain high levels of phytonutrients. Studies have shown that they can help control fat metabolism and aid in cholesterol excretion. If you don’t eat beans now, it is time to experiment.