With February fast approaching, many of us have Valentine’s Day on the brain. But for this love-centered holiday, our focus is on the heart. And we’re not necessarily talking sweetheart candies or heart shaped chocolate truffles — as delicious as they are! Instead, this is all about that extra special part of us that keeps our blood flowing and our passions alive. We’ve cultivated a show-stopping list of heart-healthy recipes both you and your loved ones will, well, love! With tons of fiber, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and lean proteins, these meals are sure to help keep your heart in tip-top shape so you can show your own sweetheart just how much you care. So let’s get cooking for a healthier heart!
Look no further than the name here: this “seed” bar is simply just seeds! With a powerhouse medley of sunflower, pumpkin, flax and chia, this heart-healthy breakfast ups the ante with fiber, health supportive mono- and polyunsaturated fats, magnesium, vegetarian protein and plant-based iron. Chia seeds are also an excellent source of antioxidants. And to top it off, this bar is free of added sugar and instead uses only the natural sweetness of dried fruits. Nutrient-dense and energy-boosting, this rockstar breakfast bar will soon be near to your heart.
When you’re taking your heart health to, well, heart, oats may just be one of your best allies. Oats are full of soluble fiber, which lowers LDL cholesterol, as well as health-supportive folate and potassium. The other star in this recipe, chia seeds, are an excellent source of omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, which also help to keep cardiovascular health in prime form. And the added fruity bonus? Strawberries boost the antioxidant power in this breakfast of champions!
Not exactly a “sweetheart” when it comes to breakfast? Don’t dismiss the idea of savory smoothies just yet. Nutrient dense and free of added sugars, this green smoothie will do the heart some good in the morning. Cilantro naturally lowers blood pressure, while the addition of heart-healthy avocado boosts the body’s absorption of vitamins A, C, E and K found in the green vegetables. Plus, the antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes helps fend off harmful free radicals. So wake up and drink this smoothie to your heart’s content!
Soup for the heart and soul. This dairy-free yet creamy zucchini and avocado soup is rich in oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the body. Aside from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory superpowers, avocado also provides a significant amount of vitamins E, K, C, fiber, copper and potassium. The carotenoids found in zucchini and summer squash, which make the antioxidant capacity of this soup even more potent, are even better absorbed with the healthy fats in avocado. Talk about synergy! Once you begin to sip this soup, it’ll instantly warm your heart.
If we’re talking about happy, healthy hearts, lentils just might be the key. Aside from the benefits derived from the soluble fiber in lentils, they also boast considerable amounts of both folate and magnesium, two blood-boosting nutrients that also promote cardiovascular health. Additionally, this satiating salad contains a trifecta of seeds (pumpkin, hemp and sesame), which along with the avocado in the salad, provide a hefty dose of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. So next time your heart longs for a “hearty” salad, we’ve got a winner for you.
Sometimes, you just want pasta, but we all know those classic dishes aren’t always the healthiest options. If you’re looking for a lighter, “brighter” pasta, zucchini noodles are an excellent, heart-healthy alternative. Rich in antioxidants, folate, and potassium, zucchini noodles are a nutrient-dense substitution for your classic pasta. This recipe also features beetroot, which packs a punch with a significant amount of folate and fiber, which we all know goes a long way with the heart. And avocado brings more than just creamy decadence to these noodles — is also a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Win over your loved ones’ hearts with this nutritious alternative to run-of-the-mill spaghetti. Everyone’s favorite cruciferous vegetable, broccoli, steals the spotlight in this light yet hearty recipe. Broccoli contains an important compound called sulforaphane, which helps to combat inflammation of the blood vessels. Additionally, this twist on an Italian classic uses olive oil rather than butter, infusing the dish with healthy monounsaturated fats that improve cardiovascular function. Whip this one up for dinner once in awhile and your heart will go on and on…
The heart wants what it wants — and for your next dinner, we think it might want this delicious healing kitchari, which is a traditional Indian “mixture” of ingredients. Aside from fiber-rich brown rice and split peas, this dish highlights steamed broccoli. Cooked this way, broccoli confers cholesterol reducing benefits and detoxification. This dish is also spiced with turmeric, which significantly combats inflammation and lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. So open your heart — and mouth! — to this cleanse-worthy recipe. Your body will thank you!
Finally — a taco you can enjoy without feeling guilty. Indulge in these vegan quinoa tacos as much as your little heart desires because, in fact, they’re only making your heart healthier! The quinoa, beans and wide variety of vegetables in this recipe are all great sources of plant-based protein, but also health-supportive fiber. Aside from keeping the digestive system in check, fiber plays a major role in maintaining a strong, long-lasting heart. We believe — wholeheartedly — these will soon become a dinnertime staple. Taco me home!
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Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.