6 Foods for a Healthy Heart (with Appalachian Soupbeans Recipe)


 

 

If you want to make sure you live a long and healthy life, you will want to take precautions with your lifestyle, your diet and also try to live as happily as you can. Our heart of course is a huge part of the body and it is responsible for sending blood to our vital organs, allowing us to breathe. To keep the heart healthy through the years of course we will want to stay active, but we will also want to add foods into our diet which improve the function of our heart, and here are some you can try today.

 

Fish

 

One of the secrets to great cardiovascular care during your lifetime has to be eating fish. Fish might not be everyone’s favourite food however it is a food crammed full of omega 3 which is excellent for both our heart and our brain. Plus, it’s a lean meat meaning that you won’t have to think about extra cholesterol building up in your veins and arteries.

Nuts

 

Nuts are one of those foods which seem to appear on every healthy eating list and this is because they offer a huge wealth of benefits. For those looking to lose weight these are a high protein snack which contain lots of fibre and calories to fill you up. For the heart, nuts contain some wonderful oil and vitamins to allow the heart to move smoothly and strongly throughout life. Just by adding 30 grams of nuts per day to a Mediterranean diet lowers risk of heart disease by 30 percent.

 

Berries

 

Strawberries… raspberries… blueberries- any of these bright and flavourful fruits are amazing for the body and the heart. Berries are naturally low in fat and they contain a huge volume of fibre which is great for the heart. They also contain antioxidants to rid the body of harmful free radicals so eating a handful of berries with some yogurt each day can be a wonderful addition to your diet.

 

Flaxseeds

 

You may have heard of flaxseeds as being an addition to countless smoothies, and there is a good reason why these little nuggets are added to healthy breakfasts. Flaxseeds contain omega-3, lots of fibre and they also contain phytoestrogens which help to boost our heart health and keep it strong. You can either eat these over a bowl of oatmeal or take them mille in a smoothie or shake.

 

Red wine

 

Could it really be true? Yes, wine is actually a great drink for the heart and when drinking 1-2 glasses a day your body will produce more high density lipid (HDL) cholesterol which is the good form for our body. It’s the ideal excuse to have a tipple after a stressful day because you are simply helping your heart stay strong!

Source

Beans

 

Beans, beans are good for your heart… beans, beans, will make you fart.

 

It’s a classic and its totally accurate. Beans such as baked beans, black beans and kidney beans are full of fibre, vitamin B and protein which keeps the whole body healthy including your heart. It’s the ideal excuse for some beans and cornbread or a big bowl of chilli this week!

Here’s a great recipe for getting more beans in your diet.  My Mamaw  and my Nanny used to make these with what they called hot cornbread – a spicy hearty version of cornbread. It would be served with a side of sliced tomatoes, green onions, diced onions and her famous chow chow.  Maybe some fried potatoes and onions too.

Cluttered House Cluttered Mind EclecticEvelyn.com

My Nanny (grandmother) with her green onions and a glass of buttermik

Appalachian Soupbeans

Feeds a family of four for about 2 days

Author Kelli Heywood

Ingredients

  • pinto beans 2 cups dry
  • bacon fat and/or salt pork fatback
  • onion
  • water
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. To begin, soak 2 cups of dry beans in enough water to cover them over night or preferably 24 hours. My grandmothers called this “getting the gas out”. They were exactly right. Soaking makes the beans easier to digest and causes less bloating and gas. I like to soak my beans long enough so that they sprout. I have noticed this takes the unwanted side effects of beans completely away and cuts down on cooking time. On the day of cooking, put the beans in a large stock pot. Cover the beans with water, then add as much water as you want for soup. Cut up some onion and add to the pot. Add salt and pepper to your preference (I use unrefined sea salt for valuable nutrients.) Then, the most important ingredient is added – fatback and/or bacon fat. Traditionally, this was a piece of fatty pork cured in salt. If that wasn’t available grease from the morning breakfast would suffice. Most often bacon grease is what I have on hand and I use it generously. Bring the ingredients to a boil and then, turn down the heat to a low-medium. Cook the beans until they are a light reddish-brown color and soft. This will take 2-4 hours.

Recipe Notes

Soupbeans and cornbread is an Appalachian staple.  I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t in my diet.  It was hard for me to understand how so many people I encountered from outside of this area didn’t have a clue as to what it is.  

Soupbeans and cornbread was a meal that was born of necessity.  With hard times came, the need for cheap and nutritious meals.  Beans and corn meal were things that most people kept on hand or were easily acquired.  Mountain cooks worked their magic and made this a meal that is not only extremely cheap, but absolutely delicious.  It is my favorite Appalachian meal, and we certainly enjoyed it last night.  Read more about Kelli's life in Appalachia on her blog A Mountain Mama – East Kentucky Gal

Have you ever tried beans and cornbread?

Did you see this?



Eclectic Evelyn

Fabulous at 50 living and writing in Appalachia

1
Tell Me Something Good

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
helen at the lazy gastronome Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

helen at the lazy gastronome
Guest

Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Have a wonderful week!