by Megan Anderson (Health writer)
These recipes have been carefully designed for you to see what a day of eating should look like, they are packed full of beautiful heart loving nutrients which will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and improve your circulation.
All of which will contribute to lowering your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Nutritious and delicious, a double win!
POWER BREAKFAST- Almighty eggs with spinach on rye bread
I love the ease of throwing this together before work or a busy day, the protein keeps you going far into the morning, helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels which curbs those sweet cravings. Eggs offer an almighty amount of nutrients and we shouldn’t be scared of them.
They are full of vitamin D, B complex and essential amino acids, and healthy fats which protect the heart against disease and other chronic inflammatory disease including cancer. Rye bread is a rich source of magnesium and promotes enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose. Spinach is also a good sources of dietary folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin K2 very important electrolytes, minerals and vitimans necessary for maintaining human health.
- 2 chicken eggs (organic and free range)
- A handful of fresh spinach (washed)
- A sprinkle of parsley (dried or fresh)
- A good pinch of pepper
- A drizzle of olive oil
- 1 slice of rye bread
Start by boiling the water for the eggs and crack the eggs into it once it is boiled, leave too cook for about 5 minutes in total but add the spinach 3 minutes into the cooking. Put the rye bread onto a plate and use a draining spoon to get the spinach and eggs out, sprinkle parsley, salt and pepper on and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil. Perfection!
VITALITY LUNCH- Lemony herby quinoa with mackerel
I love easy lunches that can be made the night before, it saves time in the morning and it means you have a healthy lunch ready and prepared. It is colourful, full of delicious flavours and has tonnes of health benefits all of which will make you feel full of vitality.
The benefits are endless, mackerel is full of healthy fats that support the cardiovascular and nervous system and the heart healthy grain quinoa is a complete source of protein, a fantastic source of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats such as mono-saturated and omega-3 fatty acids and is known to reduce ‘unhealthy’ LDL cholesterol. On top of all that, the lemony dressing is rich in vitamin C and magnesium, this is important for heart health and combined with the olive oil provides healthy omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids.
- X1 fillet of X1 Lemon juiced
- 4 tsp of high quality olive oil
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 mackerel (any kind you like)
- 200g of quinoa
- 120g of green bean
- A handful of cherry tomatoes
- ¼ of a red onion
- 20g of parsley
- 20g of coriander
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
Start by cooking the quinoa, you want about double the amount of boiling water to quinoa and let it boil for about 12-15 minutes, then drain and leave to cool. Peel and chop the red onion, chop the cherry tomatoes in quarters, adding them to a big salad bowl. Roughly chop the parsley and coriander and add those also. When the quinoa and beans have cooled, add all the remaining ingredients into the salad bowl and mix everything together.
To make the lemony sauce, simply stir everything together and drizzle over the quinoa and mackerel.
SUPER DUPER CHICKEN AND BEAN STEW
Whilst the weather continues to batter us at sub-zero the urge for comfort food increases, dreaming of steaming stews and warming soups it seemed perfect to include this cardio-protective pot of goodness.
The garlic in this recipe helps to repair damaged blood vessels, the mushrooms keep blood vessels clear and prevent oxidative stress and the tomatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals which help protect against heart disease and have a large amount of antioxidants which help prevent cancer.
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 300g of high quality chicken thighs
- 1 onion
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of Kidney beans (drained) and butter beans
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- Handful of fresh oregano, parsley and corriander
- 1 chilli chopped into small pieces
- 200g Mushrooms and carrots
- 400ml hot chicken stock
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and dice the garlic, onion and chili, add this to the dish too and fry lightly for 5 minutes. Add the chicken thighs and sprinkle with paprika, cook them until they are brown. Add the tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms, kidney and butter beans and the chicken stock. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and cook for 20-30 minutes until the carrots become soft. Stir regularly and the coriander, parsley and oregano and serve with brown crusty bread. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
DREAMY CREAMY HOT CACAO DRINK
During the chilly winter times I want something warming to cosy up with which isn’t full of sugar, being a massive chocolate lover I started to research ways to use raw cacao powder and I came across this beautiful creamy recipe.
I knew cacao was full of polyphenols but had no idea it was overflowing with health benefits. It has the highest source of magnesium, helping to lower blood pressure and combat fatigue. It is full of fantastic flavanols which are an anti inflammatory, heart protective antioxidant. Even better, it helps to prevent ‘bad’ cholesterol, balance hormonal mood swings, boosts serotonin and prevents premature skin aging. The lost goes on and on. It is a no brainer to include this into your diet; the benefits are incredible (and delicious!)
- 300ml/a mug of coconut, almond or oat milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- A pinch of black pepper
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat up over a gentle temperature. Pour into your favourite mug, curl up and savour this creamy dreamy guilt -free drink.