Ah, February. The month of love and hearts and chocolate and roses and …
Whew! With all that plugged into one month, it’s easy to understand why February also is American Heart Month. To help celebrate, our team of Mealtime Mentors has rounded up some of our all-time favorite heart healthy recipes.
Our registered dietitians also have some great go-to nutrition tips and meal ideas to help us keep our hearts healthy and our tummies happy. One big one: Fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals and fiber, so it’s no wonder why the majority of our plates should be filled with these nutritional powerhouses. They can be fresh, frozen, dried or canned, because all forms matter and count towards our daily intake! These are some of our favorite ways to enjoy more fruits and veggies:
- Veggie Fries
- Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Apple Carrot Ginger Soup
- Apples, Almonds and Brussels Sprouts
- Green Smoothies
- Mediterranean Power Bowls
- Smoothie Bowls
- Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Chicken Sausage Zoodles
When we talk about heart health, we – of course – have to talk about sodium. Eating too much of it is something near and dear to the hearts of our Mealtime Mentor Emily, who takes over our Instagram account each Wednesday.
She admits that sweets and treats are fine and dandy, but she’d much rather indulge on something salty. In fact, some of her favorites are foods like pickles, olives, popcorn, roasted nuts and chips that are heavily salted.
Emily also noted that if she’s going to snack on something salty, she tries to balance it with something naturally low in sodium, like a fruit or vegetable. Other tips to show some love for your heart:
1. Eat more unsaturated fats: raw nuts, olive oil, canola oil, fish oils, flax seeds and avocados. A few recipes we like: Pistachio Crusted Cod with Roasted Kale and Red Onions, Tuna Melts – 3 Ways and Pecan Crusted Salmon
2. Eat more fiber: fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, cereals, breads and pasta made from whole grains. A few meal ideas to help with this one, including Black Bean Burrito Bowl, Seven Can Soup and Mushroom Farro Casserole.
3. Eat more lean protein: fish (we’re big fans our Fresh Flight Fish), poultry, beans and nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. A few recipe ideas include Seafood Stew, Cedar Plank Mustard Salmon with Baby Red Potatoes and Skillet Lemon Chicken with Rice.