It’s the month of love and we’re celebrating our hearts! They keep pumping life-giving blood all around our bodies, so we really do need to look after them as much as we can. Here are 8 foods to indulge in and share this February to give your heart a little TLC.
Fish, especially fatty types, are what we should be eating for a healthy heart boost as they contain omega-3 fatty acids which do all sorts of wonderful things to help prevent heart disease. You’ll find them in fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and trout. Tinned salmon, which contains small amounts of soft, crushed bones, is also a great option and a great source of calcium.
Not getting enough fish on your plate at home each week? Pop over to KAUAI and get your hands on the delicious and nutritious Smoked Trout & Scrambled Eggs breakfast made with free range scrambled eggs, Franschhoek smoked trout, cream cheese and toasted artisan bread.
Take a look at www.wwfsassi.co.za for more information on fish that are on the Green list.
Red, blue and purple berries have also been linked to improved heart health as their flavonoids may help to decrease blood pressure. Add a little berry sprinkling to your valentine’s day meal and whip up a salad with blue berries, strawberries, avo, baby spinach, a little feta and almond flakes – it’s healthy and sure to impress!
Tomatoes contain the carotenoid lycopene which may help to reduce the risk of heart attacks. The perfect colour for the month of love, they are extremely versatile and can be used in salads, added to pasta sauces, mixed into soups and stews, added fresh to pizzas and wraps or just enjoyed as is with a little pepper for a fresh, juicy snack.
Nuts are a wonderful source of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre, all of which contribute to a healthy heart. Have a handful as a snack, add some to your cereal in the mornings, sprinkle over salads or mix into roast vegetables that have just come out of the oven.
Red and yellow vegetables
Veggies like red peppers and yellow peppers contain carotenoids and antioxidants which may help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and help to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. This damage (oxidation) can be occur as a result of strenuous exercise, pollution, stress, sunburn and a bad diet, so tuck into these bright veggies for a colourful and healthy February. Slice in half and bake in the oven then fill up with quinoa or dip thin slices into hummus for a plant-based protein snack.
Chia seeds are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, magnesium (which has been linked to a positive effect blood pressure), as well as calcium. They can be added to everything from breakfast to dinner, and are a key ingredient in KAUAI’s Reviver Wrap and Salad made with free range chicken, feta, roast beetroot, carrot, cucumber, radish, chia seeds, house greens, mint, citrus juice, cucumber mint & yoghurt dressing.
Vitamin D is shining star when it comes to healthy bone development and has also been shown to play a part in heart and brain health. Heading out into the sun for a few minutes is the best way to get a good dose of it, but you can also find a little in dairy, fatty fish and eggs.
Beetroot is a source of iron, folate, magnesium and nitrates and has reportedly been shown to help lower blood pressure. Pickled or raw, grated or cut into chunks or slices, beetroot can be added to salads or wraps with ease. If you’re looking for a beetroot boost, head over to KAUAI for a Heart Beet raw juice made with apple, beetroot, cucumber, lemon and a little bit of mint.
To top it off, remember that exercise is just as important as a healthy diet, so this year, ditch the crowded restaurants and rather spoil your valentine to a hike or leisurely bike ride followed by a heart-healthy meal or juice from KAUAI!