Keeping the heart healthy is as important to seniors as it is to people of all ages. This is especially true if you’ve had unhealthy eating habits throughout your life. The key to good heart health is decreasing or eliminating certain items from your diet while making sure others take a front seat. But this does not mean that flavour and satisfaction have to be sacrificed.
The diet for a healthy heart should include:
1. antioxidants — colorful fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and greens
2. omega 3 fatty acids — lean meats, nuts
3. fiber — beans, grains
The things to omit or limit are:
1. deep fried anything
2. sodium rich foods
3. foods and drinks with added sugar
Recipes for a Heart-Healthy Meal
Below you’ll find delicious, heart-healthy recipes for a flavourful meal. A family caregiver or companion caregiver can help a senior prepare these dishes.
Starting the meal with this soup will give you vegetables, grain, and a little heat to stimulate your metabolism and wake up the taste buds.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 small shallots, chopped
- 4 cups low sodium veggie broth
- 4 oz fresh greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard)
- 2 medium carrots, sliced thin
- ½ c whole wheat pasta (elbow, bow tie, shells)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Saute shallots in olive oil until translucent for about 7 minutes in a large pan. Reduce the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender but not mushy. This recipe serves 4 to 6 people.
Peppery Steak and Cheese
The main course is a delicious steak with charred brussels sprouts. The trick here is to make sure you have a lean cut of meat and use fresh brussels sprouts.
- 1 lb beef tenderloin steaks, 3/4″ thick
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 T olive oil
- ¼ cup low sodium beef broth
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Trim the excess fat from the steaks. Rub both sides of the steaks with the black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Set heat to medium and add steaks to the skillet. Cook steaks for 4 minutes then turn and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. This will be for a steak cooked to medium. Remove steaks to a platter and cover to keep warm. Add the broth to the skillet and simmer to release the browned bits on the bottom of the electric skillet to get that rich beef flavor. Add the mushrooms and simmer for 4 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with the shaved cheese.
To make brussels sprouts, trim and quarter 8 oz. of sprouts. Toss in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Spread the brussels sprouts out on a baking sheet and bake in a 400° oven for 15 minutes. Serve alongside the steak and savour the rich flavours of the sauce and vegetables
Triple Berry Parfait
After a richly flavoured meal, take a break and clean up the kitchen. Now it is time for a light dessert with fresh flavours. Berries and tangy Greek yogurt keep this dessert low calorie and healthy.
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 2 cups diced angel food cake
- 1 cup each of strawberries, quartered, blueberries, and blackberries
Mix berries in a bowl. Using tall wine glasses, layer the ingredients in this order: Greek yogurt, cake, berry mixture. Finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. These look elegant and decadent and take only 15 minutes to make!
Now your tummy and heart are happy!
For Your Information
Here are two sources of other great heart-healthy recipes for you to try: