Posted by Marilyn Bunderson on 15th Sep 2016
The weather’s starting to turn a bit cooler, which means the leaves are changing color, it’s time to pull out your warmer clothes, and your garden’s slowing down. But as you’re gearing up for fall, don’t let your healthy summer habits fall to the wayside. It’s easy to throw together a salad in the summer with farmers markets providing a variety of local, organic fruits and veggies, but you can keep things fresh and tasty all year round. And the health benefits you’ll get from eating right are worth the effort of a home-cooked meal.
According to Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, and the Jean Mayer Chair and Professor of Nutrition, “Poor nutrition is the leading cause of poor health in the United States and globally, causing more deaths and disability than any other factor.”1 Let’s let that settle for a moment.
Poor nutrition equals poor health.
Americans spend trillions of dollars on healthcare every year. In fact, we spent about $3.8 trillion in 2014.2 That’s a lot of hard-earned money. Imagine the savings, monetary and emotional, if we focused more on preventing poor health in the first place.
Eating right helps your body, and when you focus on foods that are great for your waistline, your cholesterol levels, and your blood pressure, you also help your heart.3 Keep your portion sizes small, eat a lot of veggies, and cook your food at home if possible. And if the thought of healthy foods just caused you to roll your eyes, because the taste can often leave something to be desired, keep reading. We’ve gathered six recipes that taste amazing, are good for your heart, and get this—are also quick and easy to prepare.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish two to three times a week to get the omega-3s your heart needs to be healthy.4 Try this Grilled Salmon Salad for a fresh, great-tasting way to get about 2000 mg of omega-3s per serving.
If you’re counting your calories, Butternut Squash Soup with a hint of pears to sweeten things up will satisfy your palate. Try this tasty, low-calorie soup to warm you up on a chilly fall night.
Fiber-Rich Whole Grain
Chia seeds are a whole-grain alternative that provides energy and omega-3s. Unlike flax seeds, that you have to grind before eating, chia seeds can be eaten whole. Kylee’s Breakfast Pudding is meant to be put in the refrigerator the night before so you can enjoy it for breakfast. Yum!
If you want to go low fat, this tasty Chicken Tortilla Soup gives you all the flavor you crave with only five grams of fat! If you want to do more to lower your fat, skip those salad dressings and sauces; they generally contain unneeded fat. In addition, choose low fat and fat-free dairy whenever possible.
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit sodium intake to 1500 mg a day or less.5 A low sodium diet will help keep your blood pressure down, which leads to a healthier heart. Try these yummy Veggie Kabobs to tempt your taste buds, and remember—instead of “pass the salt,” take a pass on the salt, and take the pressure off.
Your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to function properly. Try this Powerhouse Citrus Salad to pump up your nutrients and nourish your body.
- Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH. Why our food is the single biggest election issue not on the table. The Aspen Institute, 25 June, 2016.
- Munro, Dan. "Annual U.S. Healthcare Spending Hits $3.8 Trillion." Forbes. February 2, 2014. Accessed September 15, 2016.
- "The American Heart Association's Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations." The American Heart Association. August 2015. Accessed September 15, 2016.
- "Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids." The American Heart Association. Accessed September 15, 2016.
- "How Much Sodium Should I Eat per Day? - Sodium Break Up." American Heart Association. Accessed September 15, 2016.
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