Culinary nutritionist Caroline Chow shares some of her favourite superfoods to support heart health and reduce cholesterol. By CAROLINE CHOW; edited by SAMANTHA FRANCIS.
If a balanced diet is a key to a healthy life, then think of superfoods as a fuss-free means to power-pack your sustenance with essential nutrition. Some offer healthy fats, while others are rich in antioxidants believed to reduce the risk of certain diseases. Read on to find out how to incorporate superfoods like avocado and tumeric into your next meal.
As one of the most nutrient-dense foods around, avocadoes are rich in magnesium, fibre, and heart-healthy Omega-9 fats. Magnesium can calm the body and relax blood vessels, which assists with lowering blood pressure. Many studies also link Omega-9 with improved cholesterol levels. If you don’t fancy the taste, try blending avocados into smoothies as they add instant creaminess and are virtually undetectable. Give it a try in this Energy Boosting Super Smoothie recipe.
Tiny but mighty, these seeds are packed with health benefits such as the ability to support the cardiovascular system in removing excess cholesterol. They are also a great source of plant-based Omega-3 fats which studies show to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. After purchasing ground flaxseeds, be sure to store them in the freezer for optimal freshness. Alternatively, you can grind them fresh at home before storing them in the freezer. Incorporate one to two tablespoons a day by sprinkling over your meals or adding to smoothies.
A delicious tropical fruit commonly found in Southeast Asia, guavas are high in vitamins A, C, and E, which are powerful antioxidants known for their anti-aging properties and effectiveness in supporting the cardiovascular system. In addition, they are rich in magnesium, fibre, as well as potassium, which helps to ensure the heart is functioning at its best. These juicy fruits are best enjoyed fresh or made into a healthy jam using chia seeds and honey as sweeteners.
Turmeric contains a potent anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin that studies show can have extraordinary benefits when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease. It is also a strong anti-carcinogenic with anti-cancer effects, which makes it a powerful superfood. The spice can be incorporated into curries, added into rice, or used in a nourishing latte with coconut milk and ginger.
According to studies, this superfood can help to increase circulation throughout the body. Beets are a good source of iron and vitamin C, both essential nutrients for the cardiovascular system. They can be pickled, roasted, or used in baking. A good way to enjoy them is to grate steamed beets and use them in muffins and cakes for additional moisture and sweetness.
Read Caroline’s blog here.