Quiz: What Three Foods Should You Eat for a Healthy Heart?

veg-mealA diet rich in dark leafy green vegetables, berries, and beans earns high marks from cardiologists. It’s hard to miss the rankings for best film, best album, and the best college basketball teams if you live, breathe, or sleep in America. One set of rankings that may not be on your radar, but should be, are the best foods for a healthy heart.

A dozen of the nation’s top cardiologists teamed up to review the science behind today’s most popular food trends, from gluten-free diets to juice detoxes and coconut oil. The results? Tried-and-true leafy greens, berries, and plant proteins earn these doctors’ votes for foods to favor, while the other foods fall to the bottom of the heart-healthful list. Continue reading “Quiz: What Three Foods Should You Eat for a Healthy Heart?”

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Dinner Tonight: Tomato and Bean Soup

bean-soupSome nights, you need a warm, comforting meal. This tomato and bean soup is it.

The base of this soup is the antioxidant rich tomato! Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color and is also shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention. Cooking tomatoes increases  the bioavailability of lycopene, making it easier for the body to absorb.

High in fiber and B vitamins, thanks to the beans and leafy greens, this soup is easy and quick to prepare, and will (read, should) make it into your weekly meal rotation. I hope it’s a family pleaser, as well. Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Tomato and Bean Soup”

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Lunch Today: Watercress and Radish Salad

watercressGrowing up, we ate a lot of watercress. A LOT! We lived by a stream and watercress grew wild, and my parents, who had grown up in the mountains in Europe, thought this was like a little taste of home. I remember going for walks with my parents and bringing back a basket of watercress.

My mother prepared watercress many ways, from putting it into soups, to mildly steaming it, but we usually ate it like a salad. And while it was available, we mostly ate watercress as a green until the garden my parents planted produced other greens.

Watercress is one of the first leafy greens eaten by humans, and it is packed full of essential nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Like other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale, when chewed or chopped, watercress releases a variety of phytochemicals that are thought to ward off cancer. Continue reading “Lunch Today: Watercress and Radish Salad”

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3 Reasons to Try Chia Seeds

chiaOnce known for a catchy tune and a popular commercial product, chia is making a comeback… but as a superfood. Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family called Salvia hispanica and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds were considered a staple food of the Aztec cultures, who would say that one small serving was all a man needed to run for a day. Chia is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Here are three other reasons to try this nutty-flavored seed.

1. Balance sugar levels: Studies have shown chia to be of benefit in controlling type 2 diabetes. As a high source of fiber, it helps regulate blood sugar and insulin release by slowing digestion and therefore preventing the sugar “spikes” that are common after meals. Continue reading “3 Reasons to Try Chia Seeds”

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Dinner Tonight: Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkin‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin flavored, from candy to your morning coffee… and even beer. In fact, in the last 5 years, pumpkin sales have increased a whopping 34% (USDA). Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants that contribute to good vision, healthy skin, a strong immune system, and bone and teeth development. It’s also a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and E, as well as the minerals magnesium, potassium, and iron.

However, if you really want to reap the benefits of this winter squash, skip the candy, beer and coffee and enjoy it pureed in this delicious pumpkin pancake recipe. I cheat a little with this recipe and use a pre-made pancake mix (I like Bob’s Red Mills).

1 cup organic soy or almond milk, unsweetened
1 egg
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup organic pure pumpkin purée, unseasoned
3/4 cup whole grain pancake mix
2 Tbsp wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
butter (for frying pancakes)

In medium bowl whisk together milk, egg, oil, and pumpkin. Add pancake mix, wheat germ and cinnamon. Stir well.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of butter to lightly coat the pan. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook until deep golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until done. Serve with a little maple syrup and some chopped nuts!

I actually make smaller versions of these and stack them up in a short, squat thermos, and they stay hot for my son’s school lunch.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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