5 Ways to Make Your Meals More Heart-Friendly
Feb 13, 2018
There’s nothing wrong with indulging a little bit — especially if you feast on food that’s good for your heart. We are here to help you make smart decisions with the help of Keck Medicine of USC!
Check out these five foods that are delicious and heart-friendly!
1. Sweet Potatoes
Who doesn't love sweet potatoes? Not only are they delicious but they have a ton of health benefits! Sweep potatoes packed with antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can be converted into vitamin A to support the immune system. They are also a great source of potassium and can help decrease blood pressure.
COOKING TIP: Sweet potatoes are simple to prepare, and there are a variety of ways to enjoy them. Just drizzle them in some olive oil and bake for about half an hour.
2. Brussels Sprouts
Looking for a savory alternative to add to your plate, boost your heart health and satisfy your body, go for brussels sprouts! Not only are they a nutritious side dish low in calories and packed with fiber (four sprouts contain only 40 calories, 3 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of protein), but brussels sprouts are also an amazing source of vitamin C and folic acid.
COOKING TIP: You can cook them with olive oil or a touch of brown sugar and salt, and then microwave for five minutes. If you are not a fan of brussels sprouts, replace them with other cruciferous or dark-green fall veggies such as broccoli, collard greens, kale, and cauliflower.
A healthy portion of grilled salmon keeps the doctors away! According to the American Heart Association, eating fish at least twice a week does wonders for your heart. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats.
COOKING TIP: You can cook salmon by sprinkling salt and pepper and olive oil in a pan until browned and flaky, about 5 minutes per side. Serve each piece of salmon with a lemon wedge!
4. Olive Oil
Skip the butter and hold the creamy dressings and invite olive oil into your dish! One of the easiest ways to help your heart and fight cardiovascular disease is to add extra virgin olive oil to salads or to grill and cook vegetables and meats with it. People who consistently use olive oil in their daily diets have fewer instances of heart disease.
COOKING TIP: Drizzle over cooked pasta or vegetables for added flavor!
If you’re looking for a delicious, healthy and easy way to end a meal, you can’t go wrong with a colorful plate of mixed berries. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and boysenberries are all full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
COOKING TIP: You can always add some non-fat whipped cream to your berries if you are in the mood for a more decadent dessert.
We anticipate you will see some of these ingredients at Vegetable Masters Dinner Presented by Blue Shield of California on March 7th! Enjoy a fine dining, five-course affair featuring some of the worlds best chefs! They will be taking their expertise and elevating vegetable! Trust us, it will be good for your heart!