February is American Heart Month and a group of health minded bloggers are gathering around to share lots of heart healthy recipes this week with a Gluten-Free & Heart Healthy 2013 recipe roundup. It's my turn today, and I'm sharing a dish chock full of heart healthy ingredients—Walnut Crusted Seared Wasabi Salmon served with a tangy Warm Napa Cabbage Salad and Steamed Brown Rice.
Thank you so much Lexie for hosting me today!
Before we get to the recipe, I'd like to take a moment to share some heart healthy tidbits since what we eat can have a huge impact on heart health.
There is no silver bullet food that will on its own prevent heart disease; rather, it's important to eat a well-balanced diet that includes a wide variety of heart-healthy, nutrient-rich foods to ensure that our bodies get the maximum benefit of all the phytonutrients available to us to help prevent and repair cell damage.
Eating a wide assortment of whole foods (natural, unprocessed foods) is important to heart health. Fruits (blueberries, oranges, mangoes, papaya) and vegetables (carrots, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, red bell pepper, asparagus, tomatoes, acorn squash) come in all different shapes, colors and sizes, and each one contains a powerful dose of phytonutrients that helps prevent heart disease by wiping out free radicals.
Just as important are whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice), beans and legumes (black beans, kidney beans, soybeans), nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, flaxseed), fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines), and teas, which are also rich in heart-protective phytonutrients. Another important element in a heart healthy diet is food that is low in sodium.
Since each food has its own unique nutrition profile, we need to eat a variety of these heart-healthy foods to get the full spectrum of nutrients and receive the most heart protective qualities.
Let's take a look at all the heart healthy ingredients in today's recipe:
- Walnuts - good fat, good source of protein, fiber
- Salmon - rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Napa Cabbage - cruciferous vegetable, milder tasting variety of cabbage with highest concentration of folate, high in vitamin K and C
- Carrots - high in vitamins A, K, C, and potassium; good source of fiber
- Red Bell Peppers - high in vitamins C, A , B6 and folate
- Brown Rice - high in manganese, selenium, magnesium and tryptophan; rich in fiber
- Sesame Seeds - high in copper, manganese, tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus; good source of fiber
- Olive Oil - heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acid
I've also prepared this dish in a heart healthy manner, using a little bit of monounsaturated fat—olive oil— and low-sodium soy sauce.
This salad is a twist on a Chopped Salmon Walnut Arugula Salad with Honey Wasabi Vinaigrette I made last year. The Warm Napa Cabbage Salad or slaw is perfect for winter, while the Walnut Crusted Seared Wasabi Salmon is barely cooked (I love sushi). Be good to yourself and make this heart healthy dish for lunch or dinner. Your heart will thank you.
Pop over to Jeanette's Healthy Living for the recipe for this Walnut Crusted Seared Salmon and Warm Napa Cabbage Salad.
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