February is Heart Healthy Awareness Month and I had the pleasure of discussing how food can be nature’s medicine and help prevent heart disease on Great Day Washington. You can watch the segment here.
Below are 10 foods and their cardiovascular benefits as well as the recipes to make the Chia Crusted Salmon and Spinach Salad with a Garlic Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Enjoy!
10 Heart Healthy Foods:
Spinach– keeps blood pressure stable and lowers cholesterol
Tomatoes– reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, and contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that protect against cardiovascular disease
Avocado– a monounsaturated fat that reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol
Walnuts– contains plant based omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and increases HDL (good) cholesterol
Salmon-rich in omega 3 fatty acids, reduces triglycerides, increases HDL (good) cholesterol and changes LDL particle size to decrease cardiovascular risk
Chia Seeds-contains plant based omega 3 fatty acids reducing inflammation and risk of stroke and heart attack
Apple Cider Vinegar-lowers cholesterol and blood pressure as well as numerous other health benefits
Garlic-contains a compound named allicin, which improves blood pressure and lowers LDL cholesterol
Dark Chocolate– 72% cacao or higher reduces risk of blood clots and cardiovascular disease
Red Wine– antioxidants can slow progression of heart disease, increase HDL cholesterol and reduce risk of stroke
Chia Seed Crusted Salmon:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the mustard and soy sauce and then rub/marinate all over the salmon.
Spread the chia seeds on a plate, and then place what would be the skin-side of the salmon on the seeds to coat the fillet.
Heat 1/2 the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sear the salmon in two batches, seeded-side down, until browned around the edges and the seeds are set and form a crust, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer the salmon, seeded-side up, to a baking sheet greased with the remainder of the oil. Transfer to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Adapted from this recipe
Garlic Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons raw honey, as needed for sweetness
1/3 cup avocado oil
Himalayan salt and cracked pepper, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar, then seal and shake until the honey dissolves and the ingredients are combined. Adjust flavor to taste, if necessary with more or less honey.
Adapted from this recipe.