03 Feb Heart Healthy Recipe Mini Roundup
Disclaimer: I’m a proud Welch’s Health and Wellness Advisory Panel. I was compensated to write this post. Thoughts are my own.
I’m doing my best to clean house. Literally. Tossing old files, papers, bits of torn stickers, boxes, everything. I have no problem letting go of things…it’s just easier if there’s someone here to help jump start the process (my sister takes that role). As I’m pitching paper after paper after paper, I run across my essay written for a nutrition class.
The topic: Why I wanted to become a dietitian.
I wrote about the fact that it was shortly after my Dad suffered-and survived- a heart attack at age 52. My maternal Grandfather had also suffered-and survived a heart attack in his 50’s. Neither of them ate well. They both had high stress jobs, rarely exercised and both smoked. Realizing the clear connection between food, lifestyle and family history and the impact on the prevalence of heart disease became the driving reason as to why I wanted to become a dietitian. I wrote about how I wanted to use food as medicine to help prevent heart disease. That was 22 years ago. And that’s one thing that was never pitched or thrown away.
In the years since I wrote that essay, much has changed. My older brother had a heart attack-and survived-at age 43. I’ve been diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia. Dad is alive and well and beating all the odds. What hasn’t changed, however, is my commitment to use food as medicine. Today, in honor of American Heart Month, I’m sharing a few recipes that allow me to do just that.
Working with the folks at Welch’s helps me keep heart health top of mind. In my role as an advisory member, I’ve developed several recipes (some with my colleague, Mary Kimbrough, RD) using their 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes. Concords have natural plant nutrients called polyphenols — and research suggests that certain polyphenols may play a role in supporting heart health. To add to that, more than a decade’s worth of research suggests that drinking 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes can help support a healthy heart.
Now, just because I created these recipes using the juice doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a glass of the good stuff-all on it’s own. Did you know that the whole Concord grapes – skin, seeds and all – are pressed to release polyphenols straight from the fruit? I’ve never tasted anything more delicious.
In the spirit American Heart Month and healthy hearts in general, I’d love for you to share your favorite heart healthy recipes in the comments below.