Guard Your Heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
~ Proverbs 4:23

Inspired by the following article, I wanted to share some heart healthy tips with you this morning.

Heart Disease: Tips for Prevention
The number one killer in America today is a disease that can often be prevented.  According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the nation’s single leading cause of death for both men and women. At least 58.8 million people in this country suffer from some form of heart disease.

And on the whole, cardiovascular diseases (the combination of heart disease and stroke) kill around 950,000 Americans every year.

Here’s the good news!  Studies show that nearly everyone can become more heart healthy by following a few key steps, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can help you control your blood pressure, which in turn can reduce your risk of heart disease. The DASH diet is rich in grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It limits fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and provides plenty of fiber, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The DASH diet also limits sodium to between 2,300 milligrams and 1,500 milligrams a day. For more information check out dashdiet.org!

Polenta with Fresh Veggies
Serves 4

Dietitian’s tip: This creamy polenta has added flavor because of the Parmesan cheese. For a healthier dish, this recipe includes lightly steamed and sautéed vegetables instead of a mushroom butter sauce. Try any combination of vegetables, including leafy vegetables such as spinach.

~By Mayo Clinic staff

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal (polenta)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh oregano, basil or rosemary, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 3-quart ovenproof dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the polenta, water and garlic in the prepared dish. Bake uncovered until the polenta pulls away from the side of the baking dish, about 40 minutes. The polenta should be moist.
  3. While the polenta is cooking, spray a nonstick frying pan with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms and onions. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and zucchini. Cover and steam until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. When the polenta is done, top with the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs, to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis
Calories 151 Protein 5g Sodium 56mg Carbohydrate 31g Fiber 3g Total fat 1g

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Posted in Motivational Mondays.

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