For those of you enjoying the long weekend, I hope it’s been great!
Since February is heart month, I’m sharing some heart-smart foods you might be overlooking. Though oatmeal gets a lot of attention, many foods can help keep your heart in tip-top shape. Here are a few you might not be eating.
Lentils, Beans, and Peas. Packed with protein and fiber, beans, lentils, and chickpeas are a good substitute for meat. Easy to cook and inexpensive, they can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacktime. If you have 10 minutes, my Smoky Chickpeas with Spinach recipe is a great place to start.
Leafy greens. Are you getting them daily? Whether it’s spinach, kale, or collard greens, leafy greens are low in calories and high in key nutrients that support heart health. To get a little more each day, add a handful of spinach to your smoothie, swap in kale leaves for sandwich wraps, or stir frozen spinach to pasta sauce.
Frozen berries. If you skip fresh berries in the winter because they are out of season (and expensive), you might reconsider that. From blackberries to raspberries, frozen berries are a still a good source of polyphenols, vitamins, and fiber. Plus, you can stock up and not worry about them going bad. Enjoy frozen berries tossed into a smoothie, Greek yogurt, or oatmeal.
Seeds. There are several to consider, but hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds tend to fly under the radar. Both are packed with nutrients to nourish the heart, but hemp seeds deliver an extra boost of omega-3s. Sprinkle them on salads, roasted vegetables, or oatmeal for crunch and extra nutrition.
Sardines and Sablefish. Oily fish like salmon is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of heart disease. But you rarely hear about other ones like sardines, tuna, steelhead trout, mackerel, and sablefish (or black cod). Though fresh fish is great when available, sardines (I know it’s a tough sell for some.), canned or frozen salmon, and other fatty fish are a quick and flavorful addition to weeknight meals. Here are a few recipes to try: Maple-Miso Glazed Black Cod, Easy BBQ Salmon & Kale Tacos, and Baked Salmon Cakes.
Get Started: Add at least one of these heart-healthy foods to your shopping list and try it this week.
Have a fantastic week ahead!
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