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Powerful Super-Foods for your Heart Health

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Fortunately, we are abundantly blessed with an array of nutritious fruits and vegetables, among these we also have what we know as super-foods. Superfoods are extra special because of their potent and distinctly nutrient-rich value to our overall health. Our body is our vessel for all that we aspire to create and of course what we do in our normal day to day lives. Our heart, in particular, is a vital organ that we should offer a little more love by eating better for its overall health and function. Superfoods help us to do this. Just being a little more cognizant of our nutritional habits can have a major impact on our heart health. Old eating habits that aren’t so great for our vitality die-hard, but small steps make big strides eventually! Making simple but significant changes to your eating habits is the best option to create a lifestyle change that serves you more promisingly long-term. In no particular order, here we highlight a few superfoods for heart health to get you started.

 

 

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."- Hippocrates

Garlic:

Garlic has many medicinal and health benefits; it is part of the onion and leek family yet stands ahead in terms of its nutritional distinction. Garlic’s chemistry contains Allicin- the sulfur rich compound responsible for most of Garlic’s anti oxidant, anti bacterial, and anti blood coagulation nutritional magic. It is also high in vitamins like vitamin C, B6, and magnesium- an important mineral for muscle function. In terms of how it helps our heart health, Garlic aids in reducing our blood pressure, lowering our cholesterol levels, and improving our blood circulation, to name but a few. The great thing about Garlic as a super-food is that it is so easy to increase our uptake of it, mainly by adding it to our meals for flavor. 

Oranges:

We don’t often think of oranges in correlation to heart health- because of its high vitamin C content, it is our well-loved cold and flu remedy for the most part. Oranges contain many phytochemicals and are one of our most powerful antioxidants. Oranges are also extremely high in potassium- a mineral that assists in improved heart function. Oranges and other citrus fruits also help to keep our arteries clear and healthy and have a positive effect on reducing our cholesterol levels. We’ve heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”… we could easily extend that for oranges too! 

Almonds:

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and mono-unsaturated fats, these help to lower cholesterol, improve blood flow and circulation. Almonds are also potassium and magnesium-rich, both complement improved heart function- potassium is needed for muscle contraction and magnesium improves the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. Many other nuts offer high anti-oxidant and nutritional value for cardiovascular protection, such as walnuts and chestnuts. Nuts are so versatile, just a small handful each day could make all the difference to your heart health! 

Heart Disease is one of the biggest risks to our health- but we always hold a hand in turning things around. An important point to note is that Mediterranean diets are often very high in fruit, nuts, grains, beans, and pulses- and this area of our world is actually the lowest for cardiovascular disease. Good fats and nature’s best take precedent in the Med-diet, with olive oil being a base for many dishes and drizzled on fresh bread and salads. 

Avocados:

Avocados are the all-star nutrient. According www.webmd.com, avocados "offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy). Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. Avocados are low in sugar. And they contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three hours. Avocados are high in fat. But it's monounsaturated fat, which is a "good" fat that helps lower bad cholesterol, as long as you eat them in moderation. "

 

 

Following the old adage, “You are what you eat,” Americans spent many years afraid of fat. But, thankfully, times have changed. Recognizing the crucial role “good” fats play in maintaining healthy levels of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in the body, we now live in constant search for new sources of monounsaturated fat, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The avocado has long been recognized as nature’s “superfood”, containing the highest levels of heart-healthy plant sterols.  It is by far the world’s healthiest fruit, New Zealand’s Olivado created and perfected the process of cold extraction of oil from the avocado, yielding a uniquely nutritious and delicious oil.

Olivado is the largest producer of extra virgin Avocado oil in the world. Working closely with Massey University under a New Zealand government research grant, they have pioneered the process of oil extraction from the avocado. Incorporating the latest technologies, they have built the world’s first ultramodern packing and processing plants devoted to extra virgin Avocado oil production.

Olivado skins and destones the avocado, then gently press the flesh through olive oil mats to release the natural goodness of the avocado. Other “Pure” avocado oils, which are all chemically and heat treated, a refining process that removes most of the health benefits, along with the flavor, color, and aroma. Among its many attributes, avocado oil has the highest smoke point of any other oil!  This means that you can use it for all high heat cooking, as well as for a salad dressing, marinade, bread dipping appetizer, sautéing, and drizzling over vegetables.

Olivado’s Extra Virgin Cold-Pressed Avocado Oil: 

 

 

•    Has the highest level of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (in comparison to other oils)
•    High levels of alpha and beta-carotene, which protect against heart disease and cancer
•    The highest levels of essential vitamins and minerals and a generous dose of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant
•    Twice the amount of lutein as olive oil, which protects against macular degeneration and blindness
•    Valuable omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower blood cholesterol
•    Ounce-per-ounce, Avocado Oil ranks highest in monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folate, potassium, magnesium, lutein, Beta-Sitosterol, and
glutathione.

Also, an Ohio University Study shows avocado oil acts as a “nutrient booster”, as it is shown to significantly increase the body’s absorption of more heart-healthy and cancer-fighting nutrients from salads, such as alpha-carotene (8X), beta-carotene (13X), lycopene (4x) and lutein (4X). It has also been touted by the American Diabetes Association to be an effective defense against diabetes, one of the greatest health hazards of 21st century America!

It is also an "essential oil" which can be directly applied to the skin and hair and is immediately absorbed, imparting its nutrients directly into the body.  The high levels of vitamin E protect against infections and disease, and its high levels of squalene act to fill in wrinkles and reduce scarring. Recently, many high-end cosmetic and hair care products have been reformulated to include avocado oil.

In addition to all the health benefits noted above, avocado oil has the added attribute of combining natural flavors together to make a finished dish absolutely delicious!
Our cold pressed, extra virgin Macadamia Nut oil is sourced from quality macadamias grown in Queensland, Australia.  It contains the highest levels of heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat. It's light, nutty flavor is perfect for cooking, baking, sautéing, and as a salad dressing.  It is especially good for baking cakes, confections, and muffins.

Olivados’ Extra Virgin Macadamia Nut Oil:


 

Is delicate and smooth with buttery flavors; Olivado Extra Virgin Macadamia Nut Oil is perfect for pan-frying or using as a butter substitute when baking.
The many uses of Macadamia Nut Oil include:
•    Use in pastries and all baked goods, for a delicate, buttery flavor
•    Make omelets and other egg dishes using macadamia nut oil, to lift the texture and taste
•    Great for sizzling steaks in the pan or on the barbecue
Olivado is committed to the production of natural products that form the basis of good health!

 

Worth to try

Delicious Baby Cos and Crouton Salad with Avocado Dressing. A lovely simple green salad with baby cos and croutons with a fantastic avocado dressing.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Dressing:

1 ripe avocado

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons Olivado extra virgin avocado oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 fresh red chili, de-seeded and finely sliced

Pinch of salt

 

The Salad:

2 tablespoons Olivado extra virgin sesame oil

2 slices crusty bread, cut into cubes

Salt

1 baby cos lettuce, cut into wedges

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds to garnish

 

 

METHOD

Method:
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor. Set aside.
Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and toast the cubes of bread until golden.
Drain on kitchen towels and sprinkle with salt.
To serve, place the cos wedges, spring onion and chives and dollop half of the dressing. Season.
Place on a serving platter and scatter the croutons over the top and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Tip: Serve this salad as an entree or alongside your favorite chicken dish as a main meal.

Chicken Scaloppine

 

INGREDIENTS

3 Waitoa Free Range chicken breasts 
6 whole sage leaves
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons Olivado Extra Virgin Avocado oil
½ cup marsala wine
2 tablespoons butter

 

METHOD

Cover a chopping board with a piece of baking paper. Put the chicken breasts on the board, slice through each one horizontally and open out (as if you were reading a book). Put another piece of baking paper over the opened-out chicken breasts and, using a meat mallet, rolling pin or the base of a small heavy saucepan, pound the chicken a little to get even 1cm slices. Place two sage leaves onto each breast half.

Heat the avocado oil in a frying pan until hot. Put the flour on a plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour and fry in the hot oil. Wash your hands. Cook the chicken for a few minutes each side until golden. Set aside in an oven on low heat.

Add the marsala to the same pan and bring to the boil, scraping the pan. Whisk in the butter and any juices from the resting chicken and season. Add the chopped sage to the sauce and pour over each chicken piece. Serve with potato roasties and a green salad.

* Recipes and photo courtesy of Olivado cookbook

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