Nour­ish your way to a healthy heart

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - SPECIAL REPORT -

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

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