Nourish your way to a healthy heart
I’m often asked by clients if they can do anything to improve their heart health. I always say yes. For example, I nurture my heart and circulation by exercising – one-hour brisk walk several times a week – eating home-cooked fresh food with plenty of green vegetables and boosting my intake of omega 3s.
So, what can you do right now? Firstly, make the decision to minimise highly processed foods and drinks. Refining and processing deplete foods of their natural vitamins, minerals and other essential micronutrients, and deep-frying turns oils toxic. Next up, increase the quantity and range of vegetables you consume. This will boost the vitamins and minerals your body receives, as well as antioxidants and other phytonutrients vital for heart health. Try to follow these guidelines: • Aim to eat about six different coloured vegetable servings (cooked or raw) each day. The dark green leafy ones (kale, cabbage and spinach) are best. Use them in smoothies, as dips with hummus, and in soups and stews. • Buy vegetables that are grown locally. They are likely to be fresher and ‘in season’. • Choose organically grown veg when available and if affordable. • Use them to snack healthily. Try strips of carrot, red and yellow peppers and celery.
Another option is to drizzle ‘good’ oils over your food. Use unrefined, cold pressed oils such as Udo’s Oil, organic rapeseed, or extra virgin olive oil. The goodness has not been processed out of these.
I’m a big fan of Udo’s Oil, drizzling it over salads and cooked vegetables. It’s made from organically grown flax, sunflower and sesame seeds. I love its taste and versatility, and it’s a great vegan source of omega 3.
Look out for the ‘Healthy Habits your Heart will Love’ booklet in your local pharmacy or health food store. It contains seven of my heart-friendly recipes, together with exercise and mindfulness tips from Pat Divilly and Udo Erasmus