When it comes to the health of your heart, take a tip from our nutritionists and work from the outside in. A well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet can help keep your ticker going strong, and it doesn’t have to mean limited choices or bland, boring meals. We’ve got three simple strategies designed with your heart in mind to keep mealtime healthful and flavorful (the rest of your body will thank you, too).
Tip 1: Reduce sodium in foods by using herbs, spices, and citrus for flavor instead.
Too much salt causes the body to retain water, which can increase blood pressure and put strain on the heart. Go easy with the salt shaker and opt for naturally flavorful accent ingredients, like the complex spice rub on this pork tenderloin with baby broccoli.
Tip 2: Choose lean proteins, like seafood, beans, or skinless chicken breasts.
Foods high in saturated fat, like red meat, can contribute to the risk of heart disease. Choose lean protein sources, like poultry, seafood, beans, and legumes, to keep meals filling. Versatile skinless chicken breast is delicious paired with rich, heart-healthy avocado, like in this salad riff on the flavors of classic guacamole.
Tip 3: Choose whole grains over refined ones to get more fiber.
Fiber-rich foods are an essential part of a heart-healthy diet. Including a diverse mix of whole grains, like brown rice, oats, and whole grain bread and pasta, will help to ensure you’re getting fiber along with many other nutrients. Save time and effort with precooked grains, like the brown rice in this acorn squash recipe loaded with earthy lentils, zucchini, and Parmesan.