Whether your heart is broken or it’s ready for love, a healthy heart is absolutely essential to a long and wholesome life. We’re here to help you get heart-smart this month. And we’re doing it by providing you with a hand-selected collection of recipes to support cardiovascular health. All that’s left for you to do is cook, plate, and eat your heart out. Jam-packed with heart-healthy ingredients like soluble fiber, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and lean protein, we are convinced these recipes are the way to your heart — or even to someone else’s. So let’s fire up the stovetop and get cooking for a healthier heart.
Look no further than the name here: this “seed” bar is simply just seeds. With a powerhouse medley of sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and chia, this heart-healthy breakfast ups the ante with fiber, health supportive mono- and polyunsaturated fats, magnesium, vegetarian protein and plant-based iron. Chia seeds are also an excellent source of antioxidants. And, to top it off, this bar is free of added sugar, only using the natural sweetness of dried fruits. Nutrient-dense and energy-boosting, this rockstar breakfast bar will soon be near to your heart.
When you’re taking your heart health, well, to heart, oats may just be one of your best allies. Oats are full of soluble fiber, which lowers LDL cholesterol, as well as health-supportive folate and potassium. The other star in this recipe, chia seeds, are an excellent source of omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, which also helps keep cardiovascular health in prime form. And the added fruity bonus? Strawberries boost the antioxidant power in this breakfast of champions.
Rise and shine. Green juice is a perfectly healthy and refreshing way to kickstart your morning routine and nourish your heart. Health supportive nutrients run rampant in this cleansing breakfast drink. Kale supplies a hefty amount of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, all of which improve cardiovascular function. Additionally, green apples infuse this drink with a natural sweet tanginess, a kick of antioxidants, and does wonders for regulating blood pressure. So delight in this delicious and nutritious juice if you’re looking to step up your cardio health.
Soup for the heart and soul. This dairy-free yet creamy zucchini and avocado soup is rich in oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the body. Aside from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory superpowers, avocado also provides a significant amount of vitamins E, K, C, fiber, copper and potassium. The carotenoids found in zucchini and summer squash, which make the antioxidant capacity of this soup even more potent, are even better absorbed with the healthy fats in avocado. Talk about synergy. Once you begin to sip this soup, it’ll instantly warm your heart.
If we’re talking about happy, healthy hearts, lentils just might be the key. Aside from the benefits derived from the soluble fiber in lentils, they also boast considerable amounts of both folate and magnesium, two blood-boosting nutrients that also promote cardiovascular health. Additionally, this satiating salad contains a trifecta of seeds (pumpkin, hemp and sesame), which along with the avocado in the salad, provide a hefty dose of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and vitamin E.
A great way to do the heart some good? Go raw. Zoodles, which technically refer to “noodles” made of zucchini, are full of potassium. This essential electrolyte is crucial to maintaining heart health and regulating blood pressure. The addition of fresh herbs, spinach, carrots, and healthy plant-based fats amp up the fiber content, antioxidant properties and additional cardiovascular benefits of this plant-centric power lunch. The best part? It’s “pasta.” You’ll soon be head over heels in love with this dish.
Win over your loved ones’ hearts with this nutritious alternative to run-of-the-mill spaghetti. Everyone’s favorite cruciferous vegetable, broccoli, steals the spotlight in this light yet hearty recipe. Broccoli contains an important compound called sulforaphane, which helps to combat inflammation of the blood vessels. Additionally, this twist on an Italian classic uses olive oil rather than butter, infusing the dish with healthy monounsaturated fats that improve cardiovascular function. Whip this one up for dinner once in awhile and your heart will go on and on…
The heart wants what it wants — and for your next dinner, we think it might want this delicious healing kitchari, which is a traditional Indian “mixture” of ingredients. Aside from fiber-rich brown rice and split peas, this dish highlights steamed broccoli. Cooked this way, broccoli confers cholesterol reducing benefits and detoxification. This dish is also spiced with turmeric, which significantly combats inflammation and lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. So open your heart — and mouth — to this cleanse-worthy recipe. Your body will thank you.
Ah, to be young at heart. Salmon is one of the most heart health sustaining foods you can choose, as it is a lean protein source rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Fish oils help to reduce the level of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your blood, thus lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. This hearty “salad” will undoubtedly become one of your weeknight favorites — we hope for a very long time. And if you should survive to 105…