Tag Archives: mackerel

5 Wholesome Healthy Heart Foods

The sudden influx of the UK health conscious culture over the last decade has caused many of us to take a long hard look at ourselves ask one simple question – How can I be healthier? Dramatic and unsustainable lifestyle changes really don’t work, so many of us have taken to the idea of changing a small part of our lifestyle one piece at a time. Joining the gym is an option that works for many, but a commonly overlooked area is taking a look at the foods we eat. With coronary heart disease still standing as the number 1 killer in the United Kingdom according the National Office of Statistics, changing what we eat on a day-to-day basis will have a dramatic effect on our heart health.

Although year-on-year statistics are falling with medical advances in science, and as a Nation are making changes in our day-to-day lives, there is still room for improvement. There are obvious requirements such as exercising regularly, eating healthier and drinking less alcohol – but keeping a healthy heart can as simple as avoiding the salt soaked fat induced morsels that tempt up on a daily basis.

Take a look at our recommended 5 wholesome hearty foods and try integrating them today:

Olive Oil

Used daily by the inhabitants of the Mediterranean isles, olive oil has been shown to help regulate blood flow, whilst being rich in healthy mono-saturated fats. According a new 2012 study compiled by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “just 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day almost halves your risk of dying from heart disease”. It’s important to look at swapping saturated fats such as butter or lard that raise the risk of heart disease,  for unsaturated fats like olive oil to help lower your overall cholesterol.

Suggestion: Drizzle over your favourite salad leaves or roasted vegetables! 

Pears

Apples and pears are naturally high in fibre and antioxidants, hence the encouragement to try and eat one at least once a day. The fibre in pears however is made from “pectin” water soluble fibres which has been shown to reduce cholesterol by binding molecules in the bowel instead allowing them to circulate through the bloodstream. Pears also contain antioxidant flavonoids which help to support your cardiovascular health inhibiting plaque formations in the arteries.

Suggestions: Eat as you would normally or try sliced as a dessert or into salads. 

Blueberries

Known as one of the most powerful fruits money can buy, blueberries are powerful disease fighters loaded with antioxidants which work to protect the body against free radicals. The unique blue pigmentation comes from anthocyanins, responsible for providing most of the anti-oxidant properties. Rich in vitamin C, Blueberries are packed with fibre which is essential for lowering your cholesterol levels.

Suggestions: Delicious on their own or sprinkled over your breakfast cereal 

Garlic

Forget the fact that Garlic is the last thing you want to eat on a first date – Garlic is a pocket-sized superfood you simply don’t want to ignore. This spice has been shown to cure and alleviate a number of medical ailments for decades. Research into the properties of garlic and the cause of it’s wonder-powers show how it decreases the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries. Lower calorific values of just 10 calories per clove make them a healthy way of adding flavour to any dish. Garlic also contains allicin which helps to keep blood flowing easily, reducing your blood pressure overall.

Suggestion: Crushed into most foods for added flavour or roasted with vegetables & sweet potatoes

Mackerel

Oily fish such as herring, sardines and mackerel contain high levels of omega-3 – a vital ingredient for improving your overall heart health. The British Heart Foundation recommends that you consume at least two portions of fish each week, with a portion of oily fish at least once a week. Consuming fish this regularly has been shown to help decrease blood pressure, regulate heart beat and make blood less susceptible to clotting.

Suggestion: Steamed with a squeeze of lemon for flavour – delicious! 

 

 

Spruce up your Spring eating!

With the official first day of Spring now behind us (March 20th for the UK readers), the season of blossom is truly in full swing.  With a new season comes new crops, including a whole host of tantalising spring foods that shouldn’t be ignored.

Spring offers some of the most versatile foods packed with vital nutrition that can add huge benefits to any diet. Here are just some of the best spring foods that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Asparagus – Not only does it look great on a plate, asparagus carries fantastic nutritional properties that not many other vegetables can offer. Known as a wonder tonic for kidney health, asparagus is a diuretic which helps the body get rid of unwanted toxins making it an ideal companion for dieters. Asparagus is packed with vitamin C & K, fibre, protein, iron, folic acid, manganese and potassium – That’s a whole host of good stuff!
  • Peas – Spring offers some of the best green vegatables available in the supermarket, and don’t be fooled by the tiny size of the petit pois! Peas are great when used in soups and because they’re low calorie, rich in fibre and protein, and a good source of antioxidant vitamins, you’d be silly not to add a portion to every other meal.
  • Strawberries – Does anyone have memories of picking strawberries with their parents when you were younger? The delicious strawberry has a high water content containing vitamins B, C, E potassium, calcium, zinc and iron – all the good stuff! These antioxidants will help to boost your immune system whilst helping to fight the signs of ageing.
  • Mackerel – Packed with vitamin B12 & D along with high levels of phosphorus, magnesium and selenium, this fish isn’t to everyone’s tastes! But eating three portions of oily fish a week can help to maintain the recommended levels of omega 3 in the body, improving bone and skin health. Make the switch from salmon or sardines, as mackerel isn’t considered an endangered species – It’s relatively cheap too.
What healthy food tips can you offer to our readers? Are their annual changes that you make as soon as the Spring season arrives? We’d love to hear from you – just post in the comments below or tweet us at @healthyhideout.

 

Note: It’s been a while since the Healthy Hideout has offered a decent post with some “meat on the bone” for our wonderful followers to sink their teeth into. We’d like to thank all of our readers for their ongoing commitment to the blog, and can confirm that we are back up and running for the time being.