Heart-healthy recipes boost your heart health, fight high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart attack, and stroke. Eating healthy can also assist in lowering the significant risk factors for heart disease. But gone are the days of bland, salt-free meals that bore your tongue into hibernation. Preparing heart-healthy recipes at each meal can be an exciting exploration of new tastes, textures, and combinations that will tantalize your palate.
Gone are the “rabbit food,” rice cakes, and icky everything of the past. Now, lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, seeds, and nuts rule the plate. Making healthier choices that add good omega 3 fatty acids and lean proteins became delicious and straightforward over the years. A healthier diet also helps you sleep better, reduces stress, and reduces weight while you exercise, so you can celebrate each pound you lose.
What Is a Heart-Healthy Diet?
A heart-healthy diet reduces saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and trans fat. It includes whole grain foods, pasta, and a lot of vegetables and fruits. Avoiding processed foods, processed carbohydrates, and trans fats is not as hard as it sounds. Limit red meat, and use chicken, fish, and legumes as your primary sources of protein. The American Heart Association (AHA) also recommends avoiding sodium, added sugar, and alcohol.
Currently, the most popular diet with heart-healthy credentials is the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet stresses the use of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, seafood, plenty of nuts, legumes, a limited amount of red meat and healthy olive oil.
The nutrients that are beneficial to your heart are omega 3 fatty acids, quercetin, folate, coenzyme Q10, monounsaturated fats, L-Carnitine, lycopene, magnesium, polyphenols, and resveratrol. We selected heart-healthy recipes that contain all these nutrients. Healthy, delicious, and easy to prepare, these recipes may change your life.
Yes, you can start making heart-healthy recipes with a dessert. Plump nutrient-dense blackberries are the main staple in this recipe. Blackberry cobbler is a classic American dessert recipe that’s perfect for summertime. Blackberries are rich in vitamin E, A, K and B vitamins as well as antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The little blackberry is also a significant source of polyphenols that boosts your heart health.
- 4 cups blackberries
- 3/4 cup sugar substitute and 1/2 cup sugar substitute (divided use)
- Lime juice from 1 medium lime
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
- 1/4 canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
Lightly spray a cooking pan with baking spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, stir in the quarter cup sugar substitute, water, lime juice, berries, and ginger. Allow this mixture to stand for 15 minutes so that juices can blend.
In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and remaining sugar substitute. Whisk together yogurt, milk, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture gently to the milk mixture, slowly stirring until the mixtures are blended. Avoid over mixing.
Slowly pour the batter into a prepared baking pan. Spread the batter evenly using a spatula. Top it off with the berry mixture. Let it bake for 50 minutes. Using a toothpick, check to assure it’s cooked. A clean toothpick means it is time to enjoy dessert.
Recipe source: Heart
This dish uses lean beef, which is a rich source of protein. Minerals and vitamins such as B12, B6, selenium, zinc, iron, and niacin are also present in beef. Olives add a unique taste, vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants that are good for your heart.
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 minced garlic
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- Kosher salt
- Ground pepper
- 3 tbsp each of diced tomato and raisins
- 3 large olives with pimento, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 1 11-ounce French bread dough (available in refrigerated tubes)
- 1 large egg
Heat the oil. Add the garlic, shallot, and cinnamon. Stir in the beef, salt, and pepper to taste and cook for three minutes. Add the other ingredients and cook for two more minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough using the flour to dust the surface, making a flat, long piece of dough. Spoon the filling into a line on the flattened dough and roll the dough up over the filling. Gently pinch the dough together, creating an open-ended logroll (pockets). Cut the pockets to the desired length and place them on a baking tray seam side down. Carefully brush the pockets with egg wash (egg and water mixture) and bake until golden brown.
Recipe source: Food Network
Edamame garden burger
The immature soybeans are otherwise known as the edamame beans. In addition to being a good source of protein it is also rich in antioxidants, healthy fiber and vitamin K. All these nutrients reduce your heart attack risk and enhance your blood lipid profile.
- 1/4 cup millet
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 each of carrot (medium) and radish (large)
- 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp each of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) and lime juice
- 1/8 tsp Asian chili paste
- 1 pound edamame thawed
- 1 1/2 cups Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 large egg whites
- Vegetable oil for brushing
Pop the millet in a small dry saucepan for about two minutes. Add some salt and water to the millet and bring to boil. Cover the lid of the pan and wrap snugly with a clean kitchen towel (be sure to keep the towel clear of the heat source). Cook the millet for 20 minutes on low heat, then cool it and fluff it.
Grate the carrot and radish into the millet. Add garlic, ginger, lime juice, mirin and chili paste. Cook the edamame separately in salted water and drain it and add to the millet-veggie mixture. Once cooled make the millet-veggie mixture into a puree. Add in the panko and egg whites.
Using your hands make eight neat patties. Place in the refrigerator until set. Arrange the patties on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil each side for about three minutes. Serve on grilled naan bread with pickled ginger, wasabi, and sprouts. Alternatively, the burgers can either be grilled or sautéed.
Recipe source: Food Network
Heart-healthy salmon and Brussels sprouts
Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are great for your heart. A good source of potassium and B vitamins. It also contains the antioxidant Astaxanthin, which helps to lower the risk of heart disease by reducing the oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol. Likewise, Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K and contain omega 3 fatty acids.
- 14 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- 3/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 cups Brussels sprouts
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 2 pounds wild-caught salmon fillet
- Lemon wedges
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl of oil mix two minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. In a large roasting pan toss the remaining garlic (halved) and Brussels sprouts (trimmed and sliced). Roast for 15 minutes. Add white wine to the oil mixture. Remove the pan from the oven. Stir in the vegetables, layering the salmon on top. Sprinkle the remaining oregano, salt, and pepper after drizzling the wine mixture. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until the salmon is thoroughly cooked. Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe source: Eating Well
Quinoa with chickpeas and tomatoes
This is one of the easiest heart-healthy recipes to prepare. It adds a tasty zip with lime juice to create a perfect blend of flavors. Quercetin is an essential heart nutrient that is present in quinoa. Also, quinoa is one of the few plant sources that contain all the nine essential amino acids. It is a high fiber, gluten free food perfect for those with gluten intolerance.
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp each chopped parsley and ground cumin
With running water, rinse the quinoa until the water no longer foams. In a saucepan boil the quinoa, salt, and water. Reduce the flame and cook the quinoa for 20 to 25 minutes, until it is tender.
After it’s cooked stir in the tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, garbanzo beans, and olive oil. Season with salt, cumin, and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve.
Recipe source: All recipes
Pistachio crusted fish
This recipe is a heart-friendly light seafood dinner. Cod is a white meat fish which is a good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and niacin. High in vitamins A, and D, Cod also reduces inflammation, improves your bone health, and fights anxiety and depression. It is hard to believe that this meal, which works equally well with Tilapia, will significantly boost your heart health.
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 4 6-ounce pieces of skinless white fish such as cod
- 1/2 tsp pepper (divided)
- 3/4 tsp salt (divided)
- 4 tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup whole wheat panko
- 1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted pistachio
Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and nonfat Greek yogurt. Mix chopped pistachio and whole wheat panko with olive oil. Gently spread, then press this mixture over the fish. Bake on a nonstick foiled sheet for 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa, then add baby spinach, the remaining oil, and lemon juice. Salt and pepper with 1/4 tsp each to taste. Gently toss and serve with fish.
Recipe source: Woman’s Day
Spiced root vegetable soup
The orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are excellent sources of beta-carotene. They help to regulate your blood pressure and doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes. Parsnips contain heart-healthy fiber and other nutrients like vitamin C and folate that boost your heart health. Carrots are rich in vitamins A, and B6 which increases your energy levels. This may become one of your go-to heart-healthy recipes for a cool winter day.
- 2 chopped onions, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips
- 1 chopped red chili
- 75 grams (2/3 cup) dried lentils
- 425 ml (1 1/8) cups milk
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
- 1.3 l (5 1/2 cups) of vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onions. Stir in the remaining veggies and cook for five minutes. Add the chili and cumin. Add the stock and lentils to the pan. Bring to boil. Simmer for around 25 minutes until the veggies are soft. Add the milk and extra stock or water if needed. Season and reheat the soup until piping hot. Gently ladle into small bowls and serve with Greek yogurt. Sprinkle some chopped coriander for extra zing.
Recipe source: Good food
Turkey and bean rice wraps
Easily this recipe can become your new family favorite for lunch or dinner because it’s tasty and nutritious. You can pack the turkey and bean mixture separately and make the wraps on site. The white skinless meat of turkey is an excellent source of protein. Turkey is also rich in niacin, vitamin B6 and amino acid tryptophan.
- 1 cup no salt chicken broth
- 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 lb turkey cutlets
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp lime rind (grated)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 3/4 cup salsa
- 1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander
- 1 head lettuce leaves (separated)
In a large pan bring the rice and broth to boil. Cook for 25 minutes until rice is tender and the liquid gets absorbed.
While the rice is cooking, cut the turkey cutlets into strips crosswise, then place them in a bowl. Add chili powder, garlic, oil, lime rind, and lime juice. In a large skillet cook the turkey in hot oil for five minutes until it’s no longer pink inside. Add salsa and cooked rice and stir to coat. Mix in the beans and corn and cook for two minutes. Now add the coriander and spoon into lettuce leaves. Roll up to enjoy.
Recipe source: Home, Heart & Stroke
Apple cupcake with marshmallow cinnamon frosting
Since we started with dessert, we need to end with dessert. It is incredible that this is among the heart-healthy recipes. The shredded apple in this recipe keeps the cake moist in these cinnamon-spiced cupcakes. Apples contain fiber which helps to lower your blood cholesterol levels. They also contain polyphenols which have antioxidant effects.
- 1/2 cup dried diced apples
- 1 1/2 cups apples, peeled and shredded
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup each of whole wheat pastry flour and cake flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 tsp dried egg whites, reconstituted (equal to 2 egg whites)
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Salt (just a pinch)
Start by preheating the oven, setting the temperature to 350 degrees F. Line muffin cups with cupcake liners. Combine the apples and cinnamon. Beat the oil, brown sugar and eggs with an electric mixer. Add vanilla. Whisk in the cake flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt. Begin adding the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately, using the mixer on low speed, until the ingredients are blended. Stir in the apple mixture. Spoon the batter onto the prepared muffin cups. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes.
Prepare the frosting using a double boiler. Combine brown sugar and water in top of double boiler. Stir until sugar dissolves completely. Add the egg whites, a pinch of salt, and the cream of tartar. Using an electric mixer, beat on the high setting for about 5-7 minutes. The mixture will be thick and have a glossy appearance. Remove it from the heat and beat for a minute or so to help it cool. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract, blending on low to combine.
The frosting can be piped on or spread, then garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Make sure you frost the cupcakes right after making the frosting because it will stiffen soon and becomes more difficult to spread. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Finally, sprinkle cinnamon on top.
Recipe source: Eating Well
The Best of All the Heart-Healthy Recipes
Among all these hand-picked heart-healthy recipes, our criteria were that they be nutritious and easy to prepare. Additionally, we also took into account the texture and flavor of the dish. Although the desserts are enticing, we opted for an entree as our favorite.
Pistachio Crusted Fish ticks all the right boxes. The recipe uses heart-healthy cod or Tilapia and also has baby spinach and quinoa, a superb combination that’ll boost your heart health. Because the fish is baked, the recipe uses very little oil. The whole wheat panko, pistachio, and olive oil provide a crunchy outer layer, while the inner layer is gently spiced, moist and soft. It’s a glorious combination of textures and flavor. Above all, it’s easy to prepare.
We hope you love these heart-healthy recipes and enjoy them in good health. Please leave us feedback in the comments with favorite recipes of your own, or alterations you made to the heart-healthy recipes we presented.
- American Heart Association (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 544 Pages - 05/06/2019 (Publication Date) - Harmony (Publisher)
- Greger, Dr Michael (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 272 Pages - 12/12/2018 (Publication Date) - Bluebird (Publisher)
- Routhenstein MS RD CDE CDN, Michelle (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 216 Pages - 07/20/2020 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)
Last update on 2021-03-02 at 16:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API