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Parsley – A Heart Healthy Herb Abundant in Vitamins

 

heart healthy food

Use Parsley in food for health benefits

A sprig of parsley is tiny in size but huge in terms of health benefits. Parsley is a Mediterranean herb that adds a great taste and vibrant color to any dish! But don’t let your parsley serve as a mere herb for garnishing your plate, make sure to EAT this decorative herb too. There is much more to this herb than meets the eye. Parsley has been around for more than 2000 years, and boasts of medicinal properties. (It has been used since ancient times for its healing.)

  • Parsley contains an abundance of several vital vitamins which include vitamin A, C, B12, and K. Here are some great benefits of eating your parsley in your meals:
  • Parsley is packed with vitamin C , the antioxidant water soluble vitamin that boosts immunity and makes your skin look youthful and radiant.
  • This vibrant green herb boasts of anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief from joint pain and relax stiff muscles. It is especially good for people suffering from arthritis and joint problems.
  • Parsley contains polyphenol flavonoids such as apigenin, known to lower the risk of developing various cancers such as prostate, breast and skin.
  • Parsley contains a large amount of the B vitamin folic acid or folate that helps prevent thickening of artery walls. Thus parsley helps prevent heart disease by preventing blood vessels from oxidative damage. Regular intake of parsley in your meals also helps lower blood pressure, as parsley is rich in the mineral, potassium.
  • Worried about bad breath? Eat parsley. Some people eat a parsley sprig after finishing their meals. This is because parsley contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties that aid in fighting oral bacteria.
  • Parsley has antibiotic properties that help prevent urinary tract infections. Although parsley has myriad health benefits, some people may be sensitive to it and potentially suffer from an upset stomach after eating large amounts. Just remember to consume it in moderation.

Parsley is not just a garnish to enhance the look of your meal. Be sure to eat your sprigs of parsley, a true heart healthy food that brings with it a host of nutritional benefits.

Healthy Recipes: Eat Eggplant — The Purple Powerhouse!

For a mere 20 calories in an entire cup, it doesn’t get any better than eggplant for “beefing up” your Italian dinner—the heart-healthy way.

Eggplant The Heart Healthy Food

A one-cup serving of eggplant provides 2.8 g of fiber, 189 mg of potassium and 18 mcg of folic acid to name but a few

The rich meaty taste of eggplant is why vegetarians love this purple wonder food. Just like tomatoes and peppers, eggplant falls under the nightshade family of vegetables, which technically (botanically speaking) are really fruits because they are seed-bearing structures.

Eggplants are simply perfect for whipping up simple, healthy and creative dishes. They contain loads of fiber as well as numerous vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (antioxidants helpful in warding off disease).

A one-cup serving of eggplant provides 2.8 g of fiber, 189 mg of potassium and 18 mcg of folic acid to name but a few. Plus, the skin contains resveratrol—the same antioxidant found in red wine!

To sum it all up, dig into eggplant whenever you can for a low-calorie fiber-boosting meal staple.

Delicious and Lighter Baked Eggplant Parmesan – Heart Healthy Diet

  • ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large vidalia onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated carrot
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled, whole tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggplant, fresh, whole, unpeeled
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 8 ounce container of bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls),  drained and halved
  • 2 ounces freshly shredded Parmesan
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, lightly toasted and grated into crumbs

Directions:

I

For the sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until it softens; then add the garlic and wait for both to turn a light golden brown.
  3. Add the thyme and carrot and cook five minutes more.
  4. Add the tomatoes, sugar and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil–stirring often–and then lower to a simmer.
  5. Cook like this for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
  6. Set aside.

 

II

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Oil two large baking sheets with olive oil.
  3. Slice each eggplant into 1 to 1/2-inches thick pieces.
  4. Place as many slices as you can on the baking sheets, drizzle them with olive oil, a smidgeon of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Place pans into the hot oven and bake until they’re deep brown on top, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the eggplant slices and let cool.

 

III

  1. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large tin baking pan, begin your layering.
  3. Start with the largest pieces of eggplant on the bottom, then a layer of tomato sauce, basil, a few halves of mozzarella for each eggplant slice, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
  4. Top with another layer of eggplant slices, sauce, basil, mozzarella and Parmesan.
  5. Continue to layer until you run out of eggplant.
  6. Finish by topping the whole baking tin with breadcrumbs.
  7. Place in the oven and bake until the bread crumbs are golden on top and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Number of servings (yield): 6

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 490
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Cholesterol: 40 g
  • Sodium: 810 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 39 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Sugars: 19 g
  • Protein: 17 g

 More Eggplant Healthy Diet

Also read this great healthy recipeon Calcium-packed Eggplant Rollatini

Check Out This Video Featuring My Healthy Recipe for Eggplant Lasagna!

Fabulous Fruit Salsa!

Eat from mother nature’s glorious palette of fruit colors.

Salsa is always a perfect nutrition choice for seasoning anything and everything…light, healthy and packed with disease-fighting plant chemicals called polyphenols—this is one condiment that should be a staple in your heart-healthy eating regimen.

I had to share this American Heart Association delicious recipe which taps into the last days of summer’s fruit bounty!

American Heart Association’s Grilled Shrimp with Melon & Pineapple Salsa

Fruit Salsa

Grilled shrimp is perfectly accented by light, summery pineapple-melon salsa

Grilled shrimp is perfectly accented by this light, summery pineapple-melon salsa. The flavors are bright and fresh, just right for a hot day. Use just one melon or any combination of melons—including watermelon—for the versatile salsa. For best flavor marinate the shrimp overnight.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound raw shrimp (16-20 per pound), peeled and deveined (see Cook Tips)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño, divided
  • 2 cups finely diced firm ripe melon
  • 1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large lettuce leaves, such as Boston, romaine or iceberg
  • 4 lime wedges

Combine shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon jalapeño in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Combine melon, pineapple, red and green bell pepper, onion, vinegar, chopped mint and salt in a large bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon jalapeño. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

  • About 20 minutes before serving, preheat grill to high.
  • Thread the shrimp onto skewers, piercing each twice, once through the tail end and once near the head end.
  • Grill the shrimp until pink and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • When cool enough to handle, slide the shrimp off the skewers.
  • To serve, arrange one large lettuce leaf on each dinner plate.
  • Spoon salsa onto the lettuce and top with shrimp.
  • Garnish each serving with a lime wedge and a mint sprig, if using.

Cook’s Tip

To devein shrimp, use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp. Under running water, remove the tract with the knife tip.

To Make Ahead: Marinate the shrimp (Step 1) for up to 24 hours. Cover and refrigerate the salsa (Step 2) for up to 4 hours. | Equipment: Four 8- to 10-inch skewer

Nutritional Analysis (Per serving)

  • Calories Per Serving 213
  • Total Fat 8 g
  • Saturated Fat1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
  • Cholesterol 168 mg
  • Sodium 352 mg
  • Carbohydrates 16 g
  • Fiber 2 g
  • Protein 19 g
  • Potassium 509 mg

Dietary Exchanges

1 fruit, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

Beans, beans, the poor (and rich) man’s meat

There is no protein source that can rival beans in terms of supplying you with a nice array of amino acids in addition to a huge cache of fiber (a whopping 13 grams per cup), antioxidants, and tons of vitamins and minerals—and all this for only a few cents and just a fraction of the calories in meat! So learn to include beans in your day for a delicious, low-calorie, antioxidant-rich vegetable protein source that fills you up and not out.

Rachel’s Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad

Tuna and Bean Salad

Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad is a delicious, low-calorie, antioxidant-rich vegetable protein source.

A classic combination that is one of my daughter Rachel’s favorites. This is for you, my dearest daughter Rachel!

  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 6-ounce can or pouch chunk-light tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil or sage
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl gently toss together the beans and tuna. Fold in the red onion, basil or sage, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Serves 4

NUTRITION IN A BOX
Per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Calories: 244
  • Fat: 12 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, <1g ALA)
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 17 mg
  • Sodium: 422 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugars: <1 g
  • Protein: 17 g

Recipe excerpt from the book: Prevent a Second Heart Attack

Summer Love! Rachel’s Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad

Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad

This salad is simply packed with nutrients: anti-inflammatory fish omega-3 fat, fiber-rich beans and added antioxidants from the EVOO, lemon and herbs

A classic light summer salad combination that is one of my daughter Rachel’s favorites.

This salad is simply packed with nutrients: anti-inflammatory fish omega-3 fat, fiber-rich beans and added antioxidants from the EVOO, lemon and herbs—this is one super-easy to make, super-delicious salad that should be a staple on your summer salad list.

  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 6-ounce can or pouch chunk-light tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil or sage
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl gently toss together the beans and tuna. Fold in the red onion, basil or sage, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Serves 4

NUTRITION IN A BOX

Per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Calories: 244
  • Fat: 12 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, <1g ALA)
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 17 mg
  • Sodium: 422 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugars: <1 g
  • Protein: 17 g

Recipe excerpt from Prevent a Second Heart Attack

A Berry Sweet Summer

berries summer health food

Berries are at their sweetest and juiciest during the warm summer months

Its official, the ultimate summer health food is affordable and can be found just about anywhere!

Red ripe strawberry red strawberries, deep purplish-black blackberries and indigo blue blueberries have reached superstar status.

Dig in to a kaleidoscope of color this summer and you will be doing your heart and your waistline a huge favor.

Berries are at their sweetest and juiciest during the warm summer months, and there are simply tons of varieties out there as well as countless ways to incorporate them into your summer recipes.

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries … the list goes on and on. So now is the time to indulge in these spectacularly delicious low-calorie summer sweet treats while they are at their peak season.

Sure to provide you with a burst of summer flavor, take note that all berries are low in calories and packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

One cup of fresh blackberries has a mere 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and only 1 mg of sodium.

Packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, berries are a perfect way to boost your daily summer nutrition.

Try my Cold Oatmeal with Yogurt and Fresh Berries recipe