This Valentine’s week care for yourself and those you love by cooking up heart healthy meals! Diets low in unhealthy fats (like trans and saturated fats) and high in produce and whole grains have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of chronic, preventable illnesses like heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. An easy way to ensure a heart-healthy diet this week (and throughout the year) is with a Meatless Monday! By cutting out meat you not only reduce the saturated fat on your plate, you also make more room for nutritious fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.
Some foods go even further, offering an additional antioxidant boost that will keep you from ever missing a beat! Here are our top five foods for heart health, complete with a recipe you can enjoy this Monday:
The fiber in this breakfast favorite will not only keep you full, but can also lower your LDL cholesterol levels. Add flavor and vitamins in a snap by pairing oatmeal with plums, bananas or another favorite fruit. For an easy yet sophisticated take on this classic, try our Green Apple Almond Porridge.
This leafy green makes it easy to get a dose of luetin, folate, potassium and fiber! Spinach can easily sneak in with your salad, be cooked up as a side or take a starring role in any meal. This Spinach Mushroom Strata is an easy breakfast to lunch dish that you can prepare ahead of time for a quick entree.
Often ignored outside of guacamole, the avocado is an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and brings a rich, creamy texture to sandwiches and spreads. Fully embrace this savory treat with this gorgeous recipe for Grilled Avocado with Salsa.
Low in saturated fat and packed with protein, soy can satisfy your hunger without hurting your heart. When choosing soy products opt for natural sources without added salt, like edamame, tempeh or organic tofu. Add soy to a familiar favorite with this hearty recipe for Buffalo Tempeh Pizza.
No matter the variety, berries are chocked full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce you risk of heart disease. Blueberries and blackberries are especially good for vascular health as they contain additional antioxidants (causing their darker hue). Of course you can enjoy berries by the handful, but for an indulgent dessert try this week’s featured recipe for Black and Blueberry Pie.