Saturday, 13 February 2016

Valentine’s Breakfast That’s Good For The Heart

Sunday is Valentine’s Day and many will be preparing a special breakfast for their loved one – but how about preparing a delicious breakfast that is actually good for the heart?
Essential ingredients for a heart friendly breakfast include:

Oats - oats are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. They are fibre-rich and can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. Go for jumbo oats or coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties as they contain more of the essential fibre.

Nuts - Walnuts are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Nuts are another good source of fibre in the diet.

Berries - Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries – select them all or choose those you like best. They are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Blackberries and blueberries are especially good for vascular health.

Flaxseeds - Full of fibre and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart.

Pumpkin Seeds – these little green seeds can help maintain healthy blood vessels and are also a brilliant source of calcium, magnesium and zinc.

Fat-Free or Low-fat Milk or Yogurt - Dairy products are high in potassium which can lower blood-pressure. Go for low-fat or fat-free dairy with little or no saturated fat to minimise any impact on your cholesterol.

Bananas - One banana has 422 mg, about 12 percent of your recommended daily dose of potassium. Potassium can help maintain normal heart function and balances the amount of sodium and water in the body which can contribute to healthy blood pressure.

Granola is a great option for a delicious heart positive breakfast; especially if you serve it with fat free Greek Yogurt and some fresh berries and banana slices. Even better if it is homemade without additives and preservatives – but this might a step too far on Valentine’s morning!

TrooGranola is the perfect solution – freshly home-made on a weekly basis and delivered to you at home or work. Find out more at www.troogranola.com.

If you fancy something a little more indulgent, avoid the bacon and eggs, go for salmon and avocado on rye bread or on a multigrain bagel.

Salmon - Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids and the carotenoid astaxanthin, a very powerful antioxidant, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Research claims that if you have two servings per week, you could reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third. However, make you choose wild salmon over farmed fish as this can be tainted with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Avocado - Adding avocado boosts the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Full of monounsaturated fat they can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. Avocado also helps the absorption of other heart-essential carotenoids, especially beta-carotene and lycopene and have an anti-inflammatory effect that can reduce the impact of atherosclerosis, the hardening of artery walls.

Whatever breakfast you choose, having it with someone you love is also good for your heart health. A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found spending time with romantic partners can result in a dip in blood pressure whilst hugging releases the chemical oxytocin which also reduces blood pressure.

Research published in the European Heart Journal showed that having a positive outlook on life and feeling joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment, all of which may stem from having people you love in your life, can protect against cardiovascular disease.

So all in all Valentine’s Day can be really good for heart health, so enjoy!

 

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