We live in a time where we have the benefit of knowing a great deal about the nutritional value (or lack thereof) of just about every food. Thousands of dollars and decades of their research have been spent learning the impact of different foods on the body. A particular focus has been on the heart- and for good reason. A healthy heart is essential for your overall well-being.
Research has shown that certain foods have the ability to strengthen our hearts and help prevent heart disease. On the flip side, other foods have been shown to negatively impact the heart. It’s important to be able to recognize the difference between foods that can improve your heart health and beware of foods that can be harmful to health of your heart.
Unfortunately, the foods that negatively impact our health are the ones that we often seem to find ourselves craving. Fried foods, cheese, soda and carbo-loaded dishes are damaging to your heart. However, there are plenty heart-healthy dinner ideas that taste amazing.
Heart healthy foods include spinach and other green vegetables, walnuts, olive oil, berries, avocado, legumes, and flaxseed. Spinach contains potassium, vitamin B and iron. Walnuts contain fiber and valuable omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat). Olive oil also boasts these heart-healthy fats. These elements are all beneficial to the health of your heart and blood vessels. Each of these items has a multitude of uses and can be found in a variety of easy recipes for dinner.
Not every food with fat or sugar and carbohydrates must be eliminated. The key is to create a balanced meal where less healthy foods are mitigated by the benefits of heart-healthy items. Take a look at this pasta recipe that utilizes several heart healthy items and tastes great!
Spinach Walnut Penne
- 2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano-no salt added, undrained
- 2 cups dry multigrain penne pasta, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil spread
- 1 pkg (6 oz each) baby spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Combine broth, undrained tomatoes, pasta and Fleischmann’s in large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes or just until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in spinach and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with walnuts and cheese just before serving.
This recipe is brought to you by ReadySetEat. Visit ReadySetEat.com for more easy dinner ideas.