While heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, many of the risk factors associated with the condition can be controlled with dietary and lifestyle changes. By centering your meals around better-for-you ingredients and recipes, you can show your heart some extra love.
Consider walnuts, which are a heart-healthy food certified by the American Heart Association. More than 25 years of research shows walnuts may play a key role in heart health. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved one of the first qualified health claims for a whole food, finding that eating 1 1/2 ounces of walnuts per day as part of a low-saturated fat and low-cholesterol diet while not increasing caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Additionally, walnuts are the only nut significantly high in omega-3s, with 2 1/2 grams of alpha-linolenic acid per ounce. Walnuts can add this essential nutrient to dishes like these American Heart Association Heart-Check Mark certified recipes for Greek cucumber walnut bites and banana bread overnight oats.
Find more information and heart-healthy recipes at walnuts.org/heart-health.
GREEK CUCUMBER WALNUT BITES
Prep time: 25 minutes
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 English cucumber, ends trimmed (about 14 ounces)
1/2 cup roasted red pepper hummus
1/2 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
(Source: Beth Stark, RDN, LDN, on behalf of the California Walnut Board)
BANANA BREAD OVERNIGHT OATS
Prep time: 15 minutes
3 ripe bananas, sliced
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped California walnuts, divided
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 cups skim milk
Source: Recipe courtesy of Crowded Kitchen on behalf of the California Walnut Board
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