PERFORMER FOODS TO PROTECT YOUR HEART
Ahlaam Ali, lifestyle and nutrition consultant at Powereat, lists heart-healthy foods
1. Salmon: High in omega 3 fatty acids, you can grill the pink fish with a yummy marinade or use a chunk for a pasta or salad dish.
2. Ground flaxseed: Hide ground flaxseed in yoghurt parfaits, morning cereal, homemade muffins or cookies.
3. Oatmeal: For a hearty treat, bake a batch of oatmeal and raisin cookies. Hot oatmeal porridge topped with fresh berries for breakfast will give you a good dose of omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, calcium and soluble fibre.
4. Black or kidney beans: Give soup or salad a nutrient boost by stirring in the beans, which are high in B-complex vitamins.
5. Almonds: The nuts contain vitamin E, magnesium and fibre. Mix them in low fat yoghurt, trail mix or fruit salads for snacks during the day.
6. Walnuts: Add a flavourful and nutrient-full crunch to salads, pastas, cookies, muffins and even pancakes.
7. Tuna: A good lunch option is salad greens, fresh fruit and a can of tuna. Keep some “salad spritzer” — any light dressing — handy.
8. Tofu: Thinly slice firm tofu, marinate for several hours and grill or stir fry for a meal full of potassium, magnesium and calcium.
9. Brown Rice: Microwavable brown rice is a quick and easy lunch option when coupled with some stir fried colourful vegetables.
10. Soya milk: Kick-start a long day with a soya milk smoothie or use it for your oatmeal porridge.
11. Blueberries: Beta carotene, vitamin C and calcium rich blueberries are good for trail mixes, muffins and salads.
12. Carrots: We love this alpha carotene and fibre-rich vegetable just as much as Bugs Bunny does. Sneak shredded carrots into spaghetti sauce or muffin batter.
13. Spinach: No wonder Popeye was strong — spinach is rich in magnesium and lutein, which makes for a healthy heart.
14. Broccoli: Chop the great beta carotene source into store-bought soup or dip the steamed vegetable in hummus for a light snack.
15. Sweet Potato: Microwave some sweet potato in a ziplock bag for lunch. Eat au natural or with pineapple bits.
16. Red bell peppers: Rub with olive oil and grill or oven-roast until tender — these are delicious in wraps, salads, sandwiches and rich in beta-carotene and B-complex vitamins.
17. Asparagus: Grill or steam slightly, then dress with olive oil and lemon. It’s a pretty fibre-rich side dish.
18. Oranges: Got orange juice? Check out the new nutrient-packed blends for a dose of Vitamin C.
19. Tomatoes: For a flavoursome twist, try oil-packed tomatoes in sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizzas.
20. Acorn squash: Baked squash is comfort food on a chilly day. Serve with sautéed spinach, pine nuts and raisins.
21. Cantaloupe: A fragrant ripe cantaloupe is perfect for breakfast, lunch, potluck dinners. Simply cut and enjoy.
22. Papaya: Serve papaya salsa with salmon: Mix papaya, pineapple, scallions, garlic, fresh lime juice, salt and black pepper.
23. Dark chocolate: A truffle a day lowers blood pressure, but choose 70 per cent or higher cocoa content.
24. Tea: Make sun tea. Combine a clear glass jar, several tea bags, and hours of sunshine.