February is Heart Health month
IN case you didn’t know, February is Heart Awareness month, a time dedicated to promoting awareness of the seriousness of heart disease – the number one killer in the United States.
How to prevent heart disease
You can prevent heart disease by including more green, leafy vegetables in your diet, eliminating fatty foods and incorporating more physical activity into your day. You may also want to decrease your carbohydrate intake. When most people try to eat a more healthy diet, they often do not think of including nuts because they are thought to be high in calories. The truth is, nuts are actually low in carbs, rich in protein and high in fiber and good fats. They are also low-glycemic, meaning they don’t raise your glucose the way carbs do.
Adding nuts to your diet
There are many ways you can incorporate nuts in your diet:
- Eat peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts and others of your liking as a snack between meals to stave off hunger .
- Sprinkle them along with sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds on your salads and cereal. They add bulk and keep you feeling full longer.
- Include them in breads, cookies, pancakes and waffles.
- Use almond flour instead of regular bread flour to add fiber and texture.
- Try a heart-healthy recipe like the one below.
Classic Walnut Brownie
I imagine, like most people, you love brownies, but avoid them because of the high sugar and fat content. Well, here’s a recipe you can make that’s healthy and delicious.
- 3/4 cup walnut halves and pieces divided
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar or regular brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- • Preheat oven to 350° F • Chop and toast ½ cup walnuts until browned, about 10 mins. • Line a 8x8x2 inch baking pan with parchment paper. • In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil and chocolate over low heat until melted • Mix almond flour and sugar in a medium bowl. • Add the melted chocolate and oil and mix. • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Fold in the toasted walnuts. • Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. • Bake at 350° F for 25 – 30 mins until a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean. • Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting.