Diet has been identified as the greatest lifestyle-related contributor to heart health. So, making the right food choices is important for your heart. The good news is that getting heart-healthy nutrients is easy and can be delicious too.
This spinach salad can serve as a light meal on its own or as a side dish. Beans are nutritional powerhouses packed with fiber, protein, and powerful plant compounds that support healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Spinach is full of heart-essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, folate, calcium, and fiber, and sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods to add to a salad. They add sweetness, more fiber, and vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese.
Spinach Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes, White Beans & Basil
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
10 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 (15 ounce) can low-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed
Salt & ground pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup chopped bell pepper
⅓ cup chopped pecans
½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Toss sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a bowl.
3. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once, for 15 to 18 minutes.
4. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
5. Place basil, the remaining ¼ cup oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a mini food processor.
6. Process until mostly smooth. Transfer to the large bowl.
7. Add spinach, beans, cabbage, bell pepper, pecans, and the cooled sweet potatoes.
8. Toss to coat.
You can also promote a healthy heart and circulatory function with this tomato gazpacho recipe.
Choosing a Mediterranean chickpea salad for dinner provides plant-based nutrition to promote heart health. Or you can also try the recipe below to get even more bean-based benefits and some new nutrients from avocados, another superfood that supports healthy heart function. The monounsaturated fats in avocados can help maintain cholesterol and support arterial health and function.
Stuffed Potatoes With Salsa & Beans
4 russet potatoes
½ cup fresh salsa
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed
1 ripe avocado, sliced
4 teaspoons chopped jalapeños
1. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork.
2. Bake potatoes at 425 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender
3. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let cool slightly.
4. Make a lengthwise cut to open the potato, but don't cut all the way through.
5. Pinch the ends to expose the flesh.
6. Warm and lightly mash the pinto beans.
7. Top each potato with some salsa, avocado, beans, and jalapeños.
8. Serve warm.
Just because something is sweet doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. You can satisfy your sweet tooth and still get nutrients that support heart health. Berries contain anthocyanin, a flavonoid that helps support healthy cholesterol levels promotes healthy arterial lining, reduces typical oxidative stress, and maintains healthy blood sugar levels. Oats, as a great source of soluble fiber, also help support healthy cholesterol levels.
Triple Berry Crumble Bars
Ingredients - Base
1 ¾ cups whole grain flour
½ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients - Filling
3 ½ cups frozen berries
(mixed or choose your favorites)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Ingredients - Topping
1 cup oats
1 tablespoon flax
1 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Grease an 8-inch square pan and preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
2. For the base, in a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, salt, and baking powder.
3. Mix until combined.
4. In a small bowl, mix chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, stir well. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes, then combine chia with olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir to combine, stir into dry ingredients, and then press mixture into the prepared pan.
5. Next, toss filling ingredients together and spread over base.
6. Combine all the topping ingredients together and spread over the berry filling mixture — bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden. Let cool before slicing.
A balanced diet is essential for promoting optimal heart health. In addition to diet, the doctor-recommended supplements, GlucoseMD®and CholestMD®, provide important nutrients and ingredients to support healthy glucose utilization and healthy cholesterol levels for comprehensive heart health.
GlucoseMD® offers carefully selected ingredients designed to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and support healthy glucose utilization.
♦ CinSulin® is a powerful cinnamon bark extract that supports proper sugar metabolism.
♦ Berberine bark extract helps support sugar uptake to the muscles to promote healthy blood sugar levels.
♦ Chromium supports the glucose absorption activity of pancreatic cells.
♦ Gymnema Sylvestre is a woody climbing shrub used for centuries to support healthy sugar metabolism.
CholestMD® offers scientifically studied ingredients to support healthy lipid levels and a healthy cardiovascular system.
♦ Bergavit® contains the clinically-studied flavonoids of bergamot juice, which aids in the reduction of LDL cholesterol.
♦ Niacin is an essential B vitamin, clinically shown to promote healthy cholesterol levels.
♦ Olive leaf extract supports arterial integrity and healthy circulation by aiding in cholesterol equalization.
♦ Garlic bulb extract contains allicin, which promotes healthy circulation and metabolic health.
A daily routine that includes a healthful, plant-based diet along with exercise and stress management is the best way to promote optimal heart function. These nutrient-rich recipes are a delicious place to start, and for some extra support, add 1MD Nutrition’s heart health supplements to your health routine. The path to heart-healthy living starts here.
Dr. Heather Shenkman
Dr. Heather Shenkman is a board certified interventional cardiologist. She completed a six year program at Albany Medical College, graduating at the age of 23. She completed her residency at Henry Ford Hospital, cardiology fellowship at the University of Rochester, and interventional cardiology fellowship at the esteemed Tufts Medical Center in Boston.