To help safeguard our nutritional intake and strength our immune system, we need to keep our hearts healthy, but what foods are actually good for our hearts?
Eating a wide variety of seasonal fruit and veg is one of the best things we can do when it comes to feeling well and looking after our hearts.
There’s a ton of autumn fruit and veg in season now and below are some of my favourite ways to use them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Oats for a Heart Healthy Breakfast
Oatmeal is great for heart health, with oats bursting with Omega-3, potassium and folate. So, if porridge is your thing, fill your boots (not literally) with oats for breakfast.
Alternatively, if you’re like me and a) think porridge is a bit ick; and b) don’t really eat breakfast, then a berry smoothie made with almond milk will do just fine. Both berries and almonds are great for heart health. To save time, keep a bag of frozen berries in your freezer – they’re just as good as fresh and usually a bit cheaper, so they’re great if you’re on a budget.
Blackberries are currently in season, so you could do a bit of foraging and be doubly smug about eating seasonally for free.
Heart Healthy Lunch Ingredient – Tofu
I only found out while researching this post that amongst its eleventy-billion good things (not least for making tofish, which I shouldn’t really mention here, as deep-frying is mostly definitely not heart-healthy), tofu is also great for your heart. I could be really cringe-worthy here and say this makes me *heart* tofu even more than I already do, but that would be naff, so I’m going to restrain myself.
Yellow, orange and red vegetables are great for heart health too, so grill some tofu, chop up some peppers, chuck in some spinach and you’ve got a heart-healthy lunch.
Heart-Friendly Vegetarian Chilli for Dinner
Dark beans – such as kidney beans and black beans – are good for your heart, and what comes to mind when you think of kidney beans? Yep, chilli.
So this vegetarian chilli, with its kidney beans, peppers and tomatoes is great for heart health. If you want to make it even better for your heart, use tofu mince and bung in some spinach at the end.
- 300g veggie mince
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 1 red, yellow or green pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- 400g tin red kidney beans, drained
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp water
- salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft, add the red chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.
- Add the veggie mince and spices and fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, chopped pepper, season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the kidney beans and heat through for 5 minutes.
- Mix the cornflour with the water to a smooth paste. Stir into the chilli to thicken and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.