Heart disease is always the No. 1 killer in many different countries. It may manifest itself in early symptoms like high blood pressure and then to cholesterol. If left unchecked, heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure, stroke, or cardiac arrest. However, for some unfortunate event, a serious heart event will be the first indication of heart disease.
Fortunately, small changes in daily diet and lifestyle can help lower down the risk of heart disease, even if we have already suffered a stroke or heart attack. Including more whole grains and vegetable protein sources in our daily menu such as Quinoa can provide our body with more of the nutrients it needs for heart health. Read more about our Monday Topic – 5 Reason Why You Should Eat Quinoa!
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that eating at least three times 28g equivalents of whole grains every single day. 28g equivalents to:
- A slice of 100% whole grain bread
- ½ of cooked Quinoa or brown rice
- 1 cup of 100% whole grain cereal
- 1 ¼ cups of puffed cereals
- 1 ½ of fresh fruits and vegetables
- 2 servings of fish (Preferably fatty fish per week)
Quinoa for a Healthy Heart
Quinoa promotes heart health in a few ways.
1) Quinoa contains soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation, all of which contribute to heart disease. Quinoa has 50% more fiber than brown rice, and 36% of that fiber is soluble.
2) Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, shortening the duration of migraine episodes and helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. A ¼ cup of uncooked Quinoa contains about 30% of the RDI of magnesium for adults. In addition, Quinoa also provides an alternative option to replace animal sources of protein that may come bundled with saturated fats and cholesterol.
Quinoa is a Heart-Healthy Diet
There are many ways to include Quinoa in our heart-healthy diet. If we prepare a batch of Quinoa in advance, we can store it in the refrigerator and scoop out for individual servings as needed.
Mixing ½ cup of cooked Quinoa into 225g of Greek yogurt or serve it with eggs instead of grits or toast for a high energy breakfast can keep us feel full until lunch.
While for lunch, mix a ½ cup of cooked Quinoa with 1 cup of any soup or include it in a salad with leafy greens and dressing will make a great light lunch too.
Remember, Quinoa is easy to prepare seeds that only require to cooks in 20 mins, meaning that a busy night can still be nourishing. Be sure to cook with extra amount. A bowl of leftover Quinoa in the fridge makes it easy for everyone in the house to meet the goal of 3 servings of whole grains per day for a heart-healthy diet.
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