Supporting heart health is important for so many reasons and nutrition plays a big role in this. Of course its important to make lifestyle changes, reduce stress and exercise regularly but getting a well balanced diet is key. Some people are unfortunately at greater risk due to their genetic makeup so its particularly important that they monitor their heart health if its something that runs in the family. But the thing with heart health is that we all have one and we all have to take care of it and just because someone is thin, does not mean make them immune to heart conditions.
One of the things we hear about studies for on the news and radio is for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This makes it confusing to the average person because one day eggs are terrible for heart health and the next day they are great and then they get compared to being as bad as smoking. So what should you eat to reduce your risk of CVD or if you already experience CVD? Am I allowed to eat eggs? I’m young, does it really matter? These are all questions that are common and valid so let me break it down for you.
For starters, CVD is preventable in many cases so a lot of the power is in your hands. Although I come from a place of preventative health, the power is also in the hands of the individuals who are suffering from CVD to make changes to their diet to regain their health.
CVD is becoming more common because of the Standard American Diet which includes fast foods, packaged and processed foods, high cholesterol foods, junk foods…you get the picture. These foods only continue to become increasingly accessible to us and come at a very low cost. In a society that is fast paced and high stress, you can see how easy it is to run through a drive thru at dinner for the whole family.
Eating this food can lead to high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure and increased fat in the blood (triglycerides). If you don’t start taking care of your body you increase your risk of developing CVD.
Education is Key
I personally believe that education around nutrition at a young age is ESSENTIAL. Childhood rates of obesity are rising and there are even cases of hypertension among kids. Framing the mindset of young people is important so that they have the tools to make healthy choices for themselves and potentially impact the choices of their family. Of course some individuals don’t have the same luxuries and rely on programs to feed their families that often include shelf stable canned and boxed goods – but for the most part there is room for improvement and kids can have the power to make those changes. I only wished that I knew more growing up and was encouraged in school to eat healthier and why it is so important.
- Processed foods
- Too much salt
- “Bad” fats like hydrogenated fats
- Exercise regularly
- Keep body weight at a normal level
- Vitamin C for cholesterol levels
- Omega-3 Fatty acids
- Selenium and vitamin E for blood pressure
- Eat fiber
Eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and quality sources of fats and proteins
Vegan Cauliflower Tacos
Tacos are great and there is no denying that but they can become quite unhealthy when we are slopping them with cheap ground beef, lots of cheese and store bought sauces. This recipe is a fun twist on your typical taco recipe and is a suitable option to spice up Taco Tuesday, for vegans/vegetarians or anyone for that matter.
I hope you enjoy 🙂
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped coarsely
- 6-9 corn tortillas
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 limed for serving
- 1 tbsp honey dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
Cashew Cream Cheese
- 2 tbsp water (add more if needed)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp hot sauce (more or less if depending on preference)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Combine cauliflower, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic, coriander, 1/2 juiced lime, honey dijon mustard and maple syrup
- Place in oven for 30 minutes
- Add 1 tbsp of avocado oil to to frying pan with bell pepper and red onion. Cover and cook until softened
- Add other tbsp of avocado oil to a separate frying pan and add 2 tortillas at a time. Cook until browned on each side. Repeat and add more avocado oil if needed.
- Combine all the ingredients for the cashew cream cheese to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add water if needed.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and add to tortillas and bell pepper mixture
- Serve with avocado slices, lime juice, and cashew cream cheese