5 Heart-Healthy Recipes for a Stronger Heart

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Eating well is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy and strong. A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. It also limits sodium, saturated fat, added sugars and processed foods. Here are five delicious and easy recipes that you can try to nourish your heart and satisfy your taste buds.

1. Beef Heart Stew

The beef heart may sound unusual, but it is actually a lean and flavorful cut of meat that is high in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. It also contains coenzyme Q10, a compound that helps protect the heart from oxidative stress. This beef heart stew is so flavorful! Slow cooking ensures that the tough muscle meat becomes wonderfully tender.

To make this stew, you will need:

  • 1 ½ lb beef heart, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and oregano
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish

In a large bowl, toss the beef heart with the salt and spices. Transfer to a slow cooker and pour the stock over it. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until the meat is tender. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the cornstarch. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in some of the liquid from the slow cooker to make a gravy. Serve the stew with the gravy and sprinkle with parsley.

2. Heart Healthy Spaghetti

Who says healthy food doesn’t taste good? This spaghetti is quick, easy, healthy and filled with lots of good flavor! And did I mention, very satisfying! Hope you enjoy it! My photos. This recipe uses ground turkey instead of beef to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol. It also adds bell pepper, onion, garlic and mushrooms for extra fiber and antioxidants. You can use your favorite spaghetti sauce or make your own with canned tomatoes, herbs and spices. For a whole-grain boost, choose wheat spaghetti or another whole-wheat pasta.

To make this spaghetti, you will need:

  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground turkey
  • Spaghetti sauce of your choice
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • A few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your favorite pasta, cooked according to package directions

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and cook the onion, bell pepper and garlic for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat. Add the spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, basil, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked pasta.

3. Heart Healthy Blueberry Smoothie

This is a fantastic smoothie if you’re searching for something that is heart-healthy and antioxidant-rich! Blueberries are one of the best sources of anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that gives them their blue color and helps protect the blood vessels from damage. Pomegranate juice is another antioxidant powerhouse that may lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Greek yogurt adds protein and calcium,
while oats provide soluble fiber that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol⁶. Cinnamon and sucralose add sweetness without adding sugar.

To make this smoothie, you will need:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¾ cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup granular sucralose sweetener (such as Splenda)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth and frothy. Enjoy!

4. Charred Shrimp & Pesto Buddha Bowls

These shrimp and pesto Buddha bowls are delicious, healthy, and pretty and take less than 30 minutes to prep. In other words, they’re basically the ultimate easy weeknight dinner. Shrimp are low in fat and high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart and brain. Pesto adds flavor and healthy fats from olive oil and nuts. Quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain that is high in fiber and protein. Spinach is rich in folate, vitamin K, iron, and antioxidants. Tomatoes add lycopene, a carotenoid that may lower the risk of stroke.

To make these bowls, you will need:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill over high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Spray the grill with cooking spray. Grill the shrimp for about 3 minutes per side, until charred and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and toss with pesto and lemon juice. Divide the quinoa among four bowls. Top with spinach, tomatoes, and shrimp.

5. Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado & Walnuts

Serve this summery strawberry spinach salad alongside soup or a half sandwich, or top with grilled chicken or roasted salmon for a complete and easy healthy meal. Strawberries are sweet, juicy, and loaded with vitamin C, which helps keep your blood vessels healthy. Avocado adds creaminess and healthy monounsaturated fats that can lower LDL cholesterol. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants that can protect your heart from inflammation. Feta cheese adds tanginess and calcium, while balsamic vinegar adds acidity and sweetness.

To make this salad, you will need:

  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

In a large salad bowl, toss together the spinach, strawberries, avocado, walnuts, and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or serve it on the side.

These are just some of the many heart-healthy recipes that you can try at home. They are easy to make, delicious to eat, and good for your heart. Try them today and see how eating well can make you feel great!

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