Heart-healthy meals for all
Studies show that a diet full of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, pulses, legumes and unsaturated fats can help reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease as well as reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol. For heart healthy diet inspiration read on below, to see how you can look after your heart.
Fruit & Vegetables
A heart healthy diet should include at least 5 x 80g portions of fruit and vegetables a day, studies suggest that green leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), apples, pears, citrus fruits and green and yellow vegetables (carrots, peppers, green beans) offer the greatest benefits, not only do they contain a vast amount of antioxidants but are also high in fibre which help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
Wholegrains, beans & pulses
These foods are high in fibre, with whole grains considered to contain up to 75% more nutrients than refined cereals, as well as fibre whole grains provide essential fatty acids and antioxidants which can all help towards a healthy heart. Recommended daily intake of fibre is 30g which can be obtained by adding and making simple changes. For instance, swap white rice for brown or wild rice, quinoa, or buckwheat, swap white pasta for whole wheat and try adding beans and pulses (kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, edamame beans) to your salads, soups and main meals. You’ll soon be increasing your fibre intake.
Replace saturated fats (processed meat, butter, coconut oil, lard) with unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated (avocado, olive oil, almonds, rapeseed oil) and polyunsaturated fats (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sesame oil, flaxseeds, walnuts) which can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels whilst also providing essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins.