What Are The Best Foods For A Healthy Heart?

There is an abundance of available foods for a healthy heart that are loaded with nutrients that protect your cardiovascular system and prevent and repair damage to cells. The more natural and less processed foods the better. Whole grains, legumes, soy products, fish, nuts and fresh vegetables provide a variety of heart healthy foods.

Eating whole grains means you load up on fiber. Did you know that you can cut your risk of heart disease by about 15 percent, because fiber acts like a brush on the inside of your artery walls and cleans out the unhealthy cholesterol before it has a chance to stick around. By including whole grains like oatmeal in your diet, you can reduce your risk of heart trouble by up to 30 percent.

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Legumes

I love Mexican food and most of all refried black beans. My second favourite is hummus made from chickpeas which is a great spread for bread or a welcome addition to a vegetable dish. They are full of protein, soluble fibre, fat free and do not contain any cholesterol. According to the American Dry Bean Board, “Diets including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.”

Spinach

Spinach has lots of fibre, lutein, folate and potassium. Green vegetables such as kale bok choy and silver beet are high in folic acid and are known to lower homocysteine levels. High Homocysteine levels is an emerging risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease.

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Soy

Tofu, tempeh, Miso, Tamari, etc.

A diet rich in soy protein can lower triglycerides, which help prevent cardiovascular disease and keep your heart strong and healthy.

Studies indicate that regular tofu consumption is associated with:

  • reduced risk of heart disease
  • lower levels of cholesterol
  • improved bone density and reduced risk of fractures
  • decrease in the incidence of breast cancer and lung cancer

Coconut Milk

Lauric acid which is a saturated fat  comprises about half of the fat in coconut milk. It  raises HDL cholesterol which, in turn, helps decrease the Total Cholesterol/HDL Cholesterol ratio which is a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease risk than total cholesterol. Lauric Acid is also very effective at fighting off bacterial and viral infections in the body. http://blog.mymedicalmeals.com/cholesterol/coconut-milk-and-your-cardiovascular-health/

A tasty dish containing foods for a healthy heart; this tasty combination of tofu, spinach coconut milk and chickpeas is just what the the doctor ordered for a hearty meal to ward off the chilly winter weather and nourish your heart health.

Spicy Tofu, spinach and chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • One 200 gr. block marinated tofu
  • 2 tablespoons sesame or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups washed spinach
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Organic  BPA free chickpeas or garbanzo beans

Method

1. Cut tofu into 1 cm. pieces.

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2. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the sesame oil.

3. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander, stirring for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium.

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4. Add  tofu, tossing to mix the ingredients together for 5 minutes.

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5. Then add spinach and cook till wilted.  Add a bit of coconut milk if the skillet gets dry.

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5. Stir in the remaining milk and chickpeas and cook until it’s heated through.  Season with sea salt to taste. Serve warm.

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