The Heart of the Matter

In February, you can find a heart almost anywhere. Valentines adorn most every store. That is most likely why February is also heart-health awareness month – a very easy correlation to make, and an important one too. Sadly, heart-disease is the leading cause of death in both adult males and females in the United States.

The American Heart Association offers guidelines for heart health that include a healthy diet, exercise, smoking cessation, stress management, and blood pressure control. Concerning diet, there are key nutrients to include that should replace key nutrients to avoid. I have listed some below:

* Monounsaturated fats should replace Trans and saturated fats

* Fibrous fruits and vegetables should replace refined flours and sugars

* Potassium, calcium and magnesium-rich foods should replace sodium-rich foods

* Anti-inflammatory foods should replace pro-inflammatory

* Antioxidant-rich foods should replace poor to prevent the formation of artery plaque

This week’s featured recipe will empower you to meet ALL of these goals. I have included avocado which is rich in monounsaturated fat, potassium and fiber; blood pressure-friendly calcium, potassium and magnesium in yogurt, spinach and bananas; anti-inflammatory pineapple; and antioxidant-rich citrus fruits, pomegranate, green tea, and dark cocoa. The best part is these foods are delicious and satisfying enough to silence any cravings. Try it this month in place of a less-healthy breakfast or dessert. Your heart will be most grateful!

Avocado Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/2 cup nut milk or yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon green tea matcha powder
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 handful frozen bananas
  • 1 handful frozen pineapple or peaches

toppings:

  • pomegranate arils
  • raspberries
  • cocoa nibs
  • Flaked unsweetened coconut

Place the orange, nut milk or yogurt, matcha powder, avocado, spinach, bananas and pineapple in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a bowl and top with desired toppings.

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