February is heart month; we are not just taking about Valentine’s day. We sat down with our Head Chef to discuss Heart healthy foods and Heart defect awareness day.
Creating awareness around Heart Defects commonly know as CHD in children is something close to home for my family. Making sure we have a Heart Healthy meal plan at home is incredibly important to us. Even if you don’t have a family member with CHD or a Heart condition you should still look at incorporating a health heart lifestyle. Here are few simple ways to getting heart healthy in your kitchen.
Chickpeas and other legumes (lentils, other kinds of beans) are a superb source of soluble fibre.
These berries are loaded with antioxidants that help get rid of damage-causing free radicals in your body. They also deliver fibre and vitamin C, which are both linked to a lower risk of stroke.
Other options include Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries all are great choices. Fruits and vegetables in general are excellent choices because of their nutrients and fibre.
Popeye was right ― spinach packs a punch! So does kale, Swiss chard and collard. Use these sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce. Broccoli and asparagus are filled with mighty nutrients such as vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium and fibre.
This ocean-going fish is a top choice because it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Aim for at least two servings of oily fish each week. Other options include Tuna, Trout, Sardines, and Mackerel.
Oats have a type of fibre (called beta-glucan). One and a half cups of cooked oatmeal or a little over a cup of cooked barley gives you the amount of beta-glucan you need daily.
Nibbling on 5 ounces of nuts each week may cut your risk of heart disease in half. Walnuts have lots of “good” fats. Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fats. Other options include Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Flaxseed, and Chia seeds.
Olive oil is a great pick when you need to limit saturated fat which can be found in meat, whole milk, and butter.
Cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, is rich in flavanols. It acts as an antioxidant.. Choose dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) to get more flavanols and less sugar. Sugar can raise your risk of heart disease.
Other Heart Healthy foods to add to your plates are Red Grapes, Avocados, Unsalted almond butter, tomatoes. Also consider Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fibre and vitamins to help your heart. Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fibre.
To find out more about CHD in children you can go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/congenital-heart-disease/Read More