February is American Heart Month
Have you been told by someone to "Eat to your heart's content?" Usually this phrase is used when you are a guest in someone's home and they want you to enjoy the food they've prepared. Or you could be at a restaurant or resort and the owners also want you to enjoy what they offer. Most often, when this phrase is used it's about eating an abundance of food with various ingredients and no consideration about the quantity you eat. While this may be acceptable and fun for an isolated situation, for the majority of the time change the phrase to "Eat for your heart's content".
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States -- nearly one in four people die each year from heart disease. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are the leading risk factors, and one out of two Americans has at least one of these.
Information from Huffington Post April 2015
With that being said, hands down research shows the Mediterranean diet which emphasizes lean protein like fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy and using extra virgin olive oil is a sensible eating plan that protects your heart. Many foods on this diet are heart healthy and have calming effects.
Here are some top picks found in the February 2016 BHG
- Oranges and other citrus fruits like clementines and tangerines, which are high in stress soothing vitamin C.
- Salmon,tuna and sardines all rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to happier moods as well as lower blood pressure.
- Flaxseed and chia seeds-also omega-3 winners.
- Cashews, oysters and other foods with zinc, which plays an important role in the health of your nervous system and boosts immunity.
A little fat does your body good and these oils are loaded with the healthy kind that keeps your system running smoothly.
Rich in flavor packed with poly and monounsaturated fats. It's best for lower temperature cooking and dressings.
Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It has been shown to help reduce inflammation and lower heart disease risk. Look for cold-pressed and extra virgin meaning oils that have not been treated with chemicals or altered by temperature so nutrients are preserved.
One of the best nut sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart and brain. it has a low smoke point and good in vinaigrettes.
Full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants along with heart healthy polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E. Grapeseed oil's neutral flavor mixes well with herbs and spices.
Weight Watchers BLT (3 points)
Weight Watchers BLT (3 points)
- 1/3cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. pepper
- 4 (7 inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 1⁄2 lb roast beef or lean turkey, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cups lettuce, shredded
- Combine the basil, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Spread evenly on the tortillas.
- Top each tortilla with one fourth each of the roast beef, tomatoes, and lettuce; roll up.
- Cut each wrap in half on a slight diagonal.