What is a heart-healthy diet?
A heart healthy diet is low in saturated and trans fats (mostly found in animal products), high in omega-3 fatty acids (ex: olive oil, fish), high in fiber, and low in salt and sugar. Do not forget healthy unsaturated fats (mostly found in plant based oils such as nuts), as these fats are very important to consume in moderation as part of a heart-healthy diet.
To help you out, we created a fun Heart-Healthy, Small Farmer Breakfast-In-Bed menu.
- Wake up your stomach with a breakfast appetizer of an Equal Exchange Banana Smoothie Elixir or another smoothie of your creation.
-Bananas are full of good nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Potassium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure. Eating potassium-rich foods has been shown to lower blood pressure.
-The fiber in bananas and flax seeds may help prevent heart disease.
-Flax seeds (when ground) are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which has also been shown to lower you risk of heart disease.
- For the breakfast-in-bed entre, try Equal Exchange Hot Cocoa-Almond-Cranberry Oatmeal.
-Oatmeal is full of soluble (and insoluble) fiber, and adds considerably to the 10 grams or more of soluble fiber daily intake recommended to decrease your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
-Almonds contain mostly unsaturated fats which make them a great source of healthy fats that promote heart health.
-Cranberries pack a lot as well. They contain antioxidants and their vibrant red color comes from a flavonoid that may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Complement your tasty breakfast with some piping hot, Equal Exchange Organic Love Buzz coffee. Coffee may lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
- After enjoying your delicious Breakfast-In-Bed, relax and read a book. Relaxing is important, as stress can negatively impact heart health.
- End the wonderful morning by taking a romantic stroll outside. Keeping active alongside a healthy diet and relaxation are some of the best ways to keep your heart healthy.
To learn more about heart health, see the websites of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Heart Association.