We often hear that a balanced diet can promote heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. With World Heart Day approaching on September 29th, according to Dr Todd Anderson, Director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Calgary, "It is a good time to reflect on how important lifestyle interventions are in the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Nutrition and healthy eating are the basis of all international guidelines for the control of dyslipidaemia, hypertension and diabetes." People of all ages, backgrounds and countries are impacted by the burden of non-communicable diseases. Dr Anderson explains, "A balanced diet with optimal calorie intake is our first line defence against the risk factors that have made cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death worldwide. Adoption of local nutrition guidelines can dramatically lower cardiovascular risk and help to reverse the worrisome increase in the incidence of obesity related diseases particularly diabetes."
Research indicates that meals that incorporate vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and lean sources of protein are excellent options for a heart-healthy diet. In collaboration with Aga Khan Health Board USA, The Ismaili Nutrition Centre is delighted to bring you 15 heart-smart, delicious dishes - packed with nourishing ingredients. What steps will you take to protect your heart health?
1. Moong Burrito:
In the mood for some Mexican food? Enjoy a heart-healthy rendition of the classic burrito with this nourishing and irresistible Moong Burrito recipe. Made with tender, fibre-packed moong beans and other vegetables, this wrap takes tastiness to another level! Legumes, such as beans, are an excellent low-fat source of plant-based protein and can help keep you full for longer. Add some sautéed veggies like onions, capsicum, carrots, and broccoli to load up the burrito with even more nutrients.
2.Massaged Kale and Avocado Salad:
Did you know an avocado is technically a fruit that contains heart-healthy unsaturated fats? These fats have shown to help lower undesirable LDL cholesterol levels, offering cardiovascular benefits. Not to mention, one serving of avocado (a third of a medium-sized avocado) contains under a hundred calories and 20 different nutrients! Enjoy a heart-healthy, nutrient-rich salad with this recipe for Massaged Kale and Avocado Salad. Serve it as a side, or add some lean fish to make it a filling main dish.
3.Herby Rice Sabzi Polo:
Calling all fish lovers! Don't miss out on a helping of Herby Rice Sabzi Polo, a Persian rice dish made with fresh sea bass coated in saffron. This recipe is a naturally lean source of protein, and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. The fluffy rice is infused with herby flavours like coriander and dill, making it a tantalizing crowd-pleaser. Reserve this recipe for a fancy dinner party to wow your guests with a tasty, heart-healthy dish!
4.Spinach and Pomegranate Salad with Toasted Walnuts:
9.Cauliflower and Lemon Rice:
10.Oatmeal Flax Chappati:
11.Spinach and Potato Kabab with Raspberry Chutney:
13.Edamame with Black Eyed Peas:
14.Brown Rice Pilaf with Chicken and Vegetables:
15.Broccoli and Bean Soup:
- Pulse Canada
- Harvard Heart Letter: Avocado
- The Nutrition Source - Harvard: Nuts for Health
- British Dietetic Association: Omega 3
Having lived in Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Thailand, and the United States, Khatidja Gilani has used her global travel experience to explore a diverse range of different cuisines and cultures around the world. The relationship between food, language, history and tradition is one that Khatidja values most deeply, and seeks to understand by immersing herself in the local culture wherever she is. Currently pursuing her Masters in Melbourne, you can find her wandering in local cafes, popular food joints, and undiscovered food havens around town in her free time.
Edits & Peer-review: Noor Pirani & Shahzadi Devje RD, CDE, MSc