Every day we have an opportunity to make different choices that can hinder or support emotional and physical well-being. Below is a list of ideas to consider for heart health:
- Aim to eat out less this month. You have more control over the quality of the ingredients, cooking methods and the portion size of your food if you cook at home or pack lunch for work.
- Make an effort to read food labels and watch out for trans fats, which increase your blood cholesterol.
- Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits by at least 5 servings per week. These foods contain disease-fighting antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber, which are all friends of the heart.
- Have the goal of increasing your physical activity by 10 minutes per day to lower blood pressure, keep weight off and reduce your risk of developing coronary artery disease.
- Give yourself some down time. Stress is associated with high blood pressure and unhealthy activities such as smoking, drinking or overeating.
- Add more fun into your life. In traditional chinese medicine, heart is the seat of the soul and joy is the most nutritious ingredient you can consume for heart health.
- Consider regular acupuncture sessions while you are making small changes for emotional and physical support. You don’t have to do it alone!
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Cool Cucumber And Black Bean Summer Salad
Organic produce is highly recommended.
- 1 English cucumber , diced
- 15 ounce can black beans , drained and rinsed
- 15 ounce can corn , drained
- ½ red onion , chopped
- 1 garlic clove , minced 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
Drain the corn and the beans well and mix everything in a bowl and serve. Great alone, as a salsa for chips, or on a taco salad! Feel free to add a tablespoon of olive oil as well.
Note: If you find red onions and garlic a little too intense, separately microwave them for 20-30 seconds or longer depending on the strength of your microwave, and then add them to the mix.
Eating In Summer
Chinese nutrition classifies food according to its energetic qualities of temperature, taste, and ability to moisten and strengthen the body. In summer, indigestion can easily occur, so a light and less-greasy diet is recommended.
The warming tissue building foods of winter (Yang foods), like cheese, meat, eggs and nuts should be consumed in moderation. In fact, it is the perfect season to introduce cool, Yin foods, into your diet. Food with cool properties can clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids.
In general, cooling foods tend to be green — lettuce, cucumbers, and watercress are some of the coolest. Fish and seafood are also cooling, while most meats are warming. Sticking with seasonal fruits and vegetables would be your best bet, as nature provides us with what our bodies need organically.
Cooling Foods for Summer
- Bok choy
- Chinese cabbage
- White mushroom
- Summer squash
- Snow peas
- Mung beans