A Healthy Heart Starts with Good Nutrition
Keeping your heart healthy will help you feel more energized and alert, reduce your risk for a variety of diseases, and provide numerous other benefits both now and for years to come.
At VG's Grocery, we want to help you make heart-healthy choices in our local grocery stores. Below are some of our favorite budget-friendly and heart-healthy foods. We also have a simple recipe for delicious blueberry banana bread. Enjoy!
The Best Heart-Healthy Foods You Can Get in Our Stores Fresh Produce
Fruits and veggies provide many benefits. In particular, they are a great source of potassium, which balances out sodium in your diet and promotes heart health.
Whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, and other whole grains tend to have lots of fiber, which helps lower blood lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides.
No-Sugar-Added Canned and Frozen Fruit
We want to limit our consumption of foods that have added sugars to improve and maintain a healthy heart. The natural sugar in fruits is perfectly healthy, and no-sugar-added fruits are just as nutritious canned and frozen as they are fresh!
No-Salt-Added Canned and Frozen Vegetables and Beans
Too much sodium can have a negative impact on blood pressure and heart health. When you buy no-salt-added veggies and beans that are canned or frozen, they are just as nutritious as fresh produce!
Leaner meats contain less saturated fat and are less likely to increase blood lipids. Plus, they are an excellent source of protein. Examples of lean meats include skinless poultry, beef round sirloin, and pork tenderloin.
Fresh, Canned, or Frozen Fish
Salmon and tuna are a source of omega-3 fats that reduce inflammation and may prevent damage that may lead to heart disease.
Lower Fat Dairy Products
Lower fat dairy products are a source of many nutrients, including potassium, and they have less fat! Good examples of lower fat dairy products you can find in our stores include 1% or skim milk, reduced fat cheese, and low-fat yogurt.
No Salt Added Seasonings
Again, limiting sodium helps you maintain your blood pressure thus promoting heart health. Our Family salt-free options and Mrs. Dash are great choices.
Olive oil is excellent for low-temperature recipes. If you are using high heat, choose canola oil instead. Olive and canola oil have the healthiest fat profiles that support heart health.
Searching for a Heart Health Superfood? Pick Up Some Blueberries!
Blueberries are a great source of fiber, which lowers cholesterol, and they also contain a special phytonutrient called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give blueberries their color and have been found to lower blood pressure as well as make blood vessels more elastic! And if you’re looking for a heart-healthy version of a traditional favorite recipe, try adding them to banana bread!
Heart Healthy Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe
Recipe from: Fruits from Chile
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 bananas)
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 large egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, gently mix blueberries with 1 tablespoon of the flour.
- In another bowl, combine whole wheat and all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a third, large bowl, whisk bananas, buttermilk, canola oil, lemon zest, and egg. Stir flour mixture into mashed bananas just until evenly moistened; the batter will be stiff. Gently stir in blueberries.
- Spread the batter in a 5- by 9-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake approximately 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the bread cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. You can run a knife around the edges to loosen it. Invert the bread onto a plate, remove the pan, and turn over onto a rack to cool completely for about 45 minutes.
Visit Our Stores for All Your Heart Healthy Groceries
Whether you’re celebrating American Heart Month in February or simply trying to improve your everyday diet, be sure to put blueberries and other heart-healthy foods in your cart on your next shopping trip! And you can always check our weekly ad for great deals!
This week, pick up fresh blueberries at our store or clip the digital coupon for a 40-ounce package of frozen blueberries for only $6.77!
Stephanie Edson - Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.