Incorporating heart healthy vegetables into the daily diet may seem like an impossible task….for those who don’t particularly like vegetables. I will happily agree with anyone who faces this challenge. Although, at the same time, I have great difficulty empathizing with one of this condition.
NOT LIKE VEGETABLES?
Fabulous broccoli florets from the garden, bright red peppers, beautiful orange carrots, yellow squash, sweet fresh spinach! I love them!
Truly, heartbreaking…..in more ways than one.
Even though all vegetables are heart healthy and a balanced diet of grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits are necessary for heart function, a few provide more abundance than others. God knew what He was doing when he placed these bright colors throughout the garden. Synthesized versions do not match the natural ability of disease fighting antioxidants in plant sources.
My personal top ten picks for the heart healthy diet are:
- Broccoli This beautiful gem is often touted for it’s cancer fighting ability. Yet, the significant impact of flavonoids, vitamin C, Calcium, vitamins K and A strengthen the heart. Also, this beauty is rich in calcium and potassium. Nutrients necessary to help the heart muscle pump blood. Surprisingly, the stalks contain just as many and sometimes more nutrients, so don’t throw them away. Use them for a delicious broccoli soup.
- Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and some E. Minerals necessary for contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle…potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Fresh spinach is sweet and very filling in smoothies, salads, or quick cod fish sautés.
- Peppers are also rich sources of vitamin C, B6, A, and fiber. The rich red, yellow, and green colors provide antioxidants capsanthin, lutein, and quercetin. All antioxidants that help lower homocysteine levels in the blood and protect the body from inflammation and possible cardiovascular disease.
- Carrots are loaded with vitamin A, K , fiber and potassium. The rich orange color provides a natural and safe source of beta-carotene. Rich antioxidants that repair and help cells function.
- Asparagus is high in vitamin K, folate, fiber and a little thiamine. Choline, an essential mineral, is also present in asparagus and plays a role in cell structure. Glutathione is the star antioxidant in this delicious vegetable, which helps cells metabolize nutrients.
- Parsnips are good sources of vitamin C, K, and folate. As well as the mineral manganese, which in important in the breakdown of cholesterol by the liver.
- Potatoes are so healthy and nutritious! Although, given a bad rap by it’s carbohydrate content, the good in this gem far outweigh the bad. This root vegetable provides 48% of the RDA of vitamin C, 46% of B6, 21% folate. It is rich in choline, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Baked sweet potatoes provide 769% RDA of vitamin A, 65% vitamin C, and 29% B6.
- Garlic is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help fight cancer. The research for lowering cholesterol is not conclusive. However, garlic has a good amount of vitamin B6 (84% RDA) and is a great source of manganese and selenium. The antioxidant allicin present in garlic is continuously studied for heart health, inflammation, anti-clotting properties.
- Kale contains vitamin C, K, A, and fiber, as well as minerals –manganese and copper for healthy heart cells. Bright green lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants are present to fight inflammation and repair cells.
- Beets the lovely, bright red, shredded fresh on salads contain folate, magnesium, fiber, phosphorous and natural betaine.
Yes, there are many more! So many vegetables work synergistically to heal and repair the body. Endowed by the Creator to provide the necessary building blocks of every cell function in the body. My heartfelt, thoughts for you this day is to give them another try if they don’t suit your palate. Pile them onto salads, put them in smoothies, steam them to release all their powerful healing properties. Whatever you do, enjoy them to the fullest and aim for 5-7 servings a day!
Thank you, and God Bless.
“At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. (Daniel 1:15-16)Print This Post