Help out your heart by making sure the foods you eat everyday are working for you, not against you. We've rounded up three of the top heart heathly foods to include in your daily diet, with a delicious dinner recipe to boot! Your heart is smiling already, so read on and eat up!
A nutritional re-boot can work wonders for your health, and is easier than you think.
Check out ourFresh Start Clean Eating Plan for how to get started.
1. Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are a must to include in a heart healthy diet. They are considered an essential fatty acid for overall health, but the body can't make them. We have to include them in our daily diet. These fatty acids are crucial for brain development and function, can help fight anxiety and depression, and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Foods high in Omega 3s include: fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines and albacore tuna; walnuts; cold-pressed flaxseed oil; chia seeds.
Oatmeal is a high-fiber superfood, and a great addition to any heart focused nutrition plan. The soluble fiber found in oats helps to reduce levels of bad cholesterol as well as the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream, which lowers the risk of developing heart disease. For maximum benefits, the Mayo Clinic recommends consuming 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber per day. That's pretty much in your morning bowl of oatmeal.
3. Spinach, kale and leafy greens
No surprise that in addition to many other health benefits, eating leafy greens is also good for your heart. Vitamin C and beta-carotene, found in the likes of spinach and kale, assist in helping prevent cholesterol build up in blood vessels. Folate, another leafy green nutrient, helps lower levels of homocysteine, a perilous amino acid that contributes to artery hardening, heart disease and stroke. So eat up!
1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 onion, thinly sliced on mandolin
1/2 a lemon, thinly sliced on mandolin
2 5oz fillets of Salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed, washed and roughly chopped
1 shallot, diced
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Salt and pepper to taste
12x16 piece of aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small sauce pot add oats to stock, bring to a simmer, cover with lid and reduce heat to lowest setting. Cook for 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and cooked through. Stir in Parmesan cheese, chives and lemon zest.
While oats are cooking, heat one tbsp olive oil in a non-reactive (non-stick or stainless steel) saute pan on medium high heat. Add shallot and garlic, cook for one minute. Add kale, saute for another two to three minutes. Add white wine, 1/4 tsp of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Stir and cover with lid. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
Layer onion and lemon slices in the center of foil, place salmon on top, season with fresh cracked pepper. Fold foil around salmon in a loose envelope, folding all edges so there are no openings. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes.
To plate, layer kale over a healthy spoonful of oats. Open salmon envelope, dish onions, lemon and salmon on top of kale. Finish with a pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.