heart healthy eating

Heart Healthy Eating

It’s been proven that exercise and eating right are two steps that can reduce your risk of heart-related illness and disease.

Here are 3 Simple Heart Healthy Eating Habits:

  1. Limit high fat foods such as red meats, cheeses, fried foods and baked goods.
  2. Eat more fruits & vegetables.  Raw, baked or steamed are best.
  3. Avoid salt (aka sodium in processed foods) by eating less canned, prepared and fast foods. Stay away from salty snacks too.

When it comes to lowering your risk of heart-related illness and disease some foods do it better than others.  These SUPER foods are often called “heart healthy” foods because they contain high amounts of the special nutrients that have been proven to be beneficial to the heart, including:

  • Antioxidants which are nutrients that help to fight off cancers
  • Fiber which can lower cholesterol and reduce buildup of plaque in arteries
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acidswhich reduce risks of irregular heartbeats that cause heart attacks

The SUPER Foods of Heart Healthy Eating include:

  • Blueberries
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Oatmeal
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Nuts
  • Legumes (Dried Beans)

Heart Healthy Family Dinner Menu

Sliced Avocado with Balsamic Cilantro Dressing

Salmon with Ginger and Scallions over Noodles

Sautéed Spinach

Blueberries with Lemon Banana Cream

Sliced Avocado with Balsamic Cilantro Dressing

1-2 Avocados, pitted and skinned

Cut avocado lengthwise.  Place slices in a heart-shaped pattern on a plate.

Balsamic Cilantro Dressing

  • ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Whisk all ingredients together. Drizzle over avocado slices and serve.

Salmon with Ginger and Scallions over Noodles

  • ¼ cup Sake or white wine
  • ¼ cup Mirin or dry sherry
  • ¼ cup Soy sauce
  • 2″ piece Ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 6-8 Scallions, chopped
  • 4 – 6-8oz. Salmon fillets
  • Whole-Wheat Linguine or Spaghetti

Directions: Place salmon skin side down in a skillet.  In a small bowl combine sake, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Pour over salmon and sprinkle the scallions over top of the salmon.  Place skillet on stove and bring to boil at medium-high heat.  Turn heat down and simmer 3-4 minutes.  Turn salmon over and continue simmering until salmon is cooked, about 3-4 minutes.

Cook linguine according to package directions.  Remove salmon from stove.  Break salmon into pieces and discard skin.  Serve salmon and sauce over linguine.

Sautéed Spinach

  •  1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove, peeled and thin sliced
  • 1 bag (9 -10 oz.) Baby spinach

Heat olive in a stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add spinach leaves and toss gently as the spinach wilts about 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Blueberries with Lemon Banana Cream

  • 1/3 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Lemon zest
  • 1 Banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1½ cups Blueberries, rinsed and drained

In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the blueberries. Puree until very smooth (about 2 minutes). Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and fold in the blueberries gently. Serve in bowls with a big spoon!

Your littlest LOVE BUG can enjoy this meal too!

To include a baby (over 8-10 months old) at the dinner table, take these steps:

  • Avocado:  skip the dressing and mash/blend the avocado
  • Salmon: After cooking, rinse a piece of salmon quickly under water, mince with a fork or knife.  Be sure to check thoroughly for bones.
  • Noodles and Spinach:  Combine a serving of noodles and spinach together.  Puree in a blender or mince with knife.
  • Blueberries with Lemon Banana Cream:  Substitute maple syrup for the honey. Put a serving in the blender and puree it. If you want to skip the blueberries too, serve the banana cream for baby’s dessert.