To kick off American Heart Month, we've collected some easy recipes to share with you and your heart. These dishes are packed with beneficial ingredients that are typically available in Kodiak's gardens, grocery stores, and ocean.
Wild salmon is Prevention Magazine's #1 food for heart health. Living in Kodiak, we're fortunate to have easier access to this superfood than most Americans. It's rich in omega-3, which could reduce your blood pressure and prevent clotting. Salmon also has antioxidants like selenium and astaxanthin which studies have shown can increase cardiovascular protection.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can reduce cardiovascular inflammation and may lower the risk of heart attacks. They're also high in fiber and packed with antioxidants.
Avocado is another favorite food of the heart. A study at Penn State University has found that regular consumption of avocados may help lower bad cholesterol. Just don't add sodium and calories to your diet with corn chips and guacamole! Simply add slices or dices of avocado to your sandwiches, salads, and salmon.
According to the American Heart Association, whole grains—such as brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, and barley—may help improve blood cholesterol levels. Their research also suggests these grains may reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Nuts are known to make the heart happy, too. Walnuts in particular top the lists of many health studies. The Harvard School of Public Health believes the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts may prevent the development of erratic heart rhythms while preventing blood clots. Just be sure you study up on serving sizes before you make them a snack staple; eat too many nuts and you may gain unwanted weight. Also, read nutrition labels as many nuts are processed with honey, sugar, salt, and added oils.
Try focusing your meals around:
- whole-grain/high-fiber foods
- low-fat dairy products.
Avoid saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars.
Check out these delicious recipes to inspire your family's heart-healthy diet: