Veggies for Heart Health
By: Lisa Gilbert
February is Heart Month! A wonderful time to let our loved ones know how much we care for them, but also a great opportunity to show ourselves a little love too. It’s a good time of year to reflect upon how well we’ve been taking care of ourselves, specifically when it comes to our cardiovascular health.
As we all are aware, Canada’s Food Guide has recently been adapted to encourage Canadians to consider more plant-based proteins. Why? Because eating a more vegetarian diet can help lower your cholesterol & blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, help you maintain a healthy weight and improve overall health. A vegetarian diet is higher in fibre, and important vitamins & minerals to keep our hearts healthy and strong
At COOKSMART we really emphasize the importance of adding more veggies into our diets. We encourage the kids to always “try at least 3 bright colours” with every meal and, even if you tried a veggie years ago and didn’t care for it, try it again… those taste buds change over time and you might be surprised!
We don’t just tell kids veggies are good so gobble them up, we tell them WHY. We talk about the fact that the bright red skin on tomatoes contains a powerful antioxidant called lycopene and that the deeper the orange colour a carrot, the more carotenoids it contains. We teach them the importance of protein and all the amazing ways to get it beyond a traditional meat-based diet through foods like tofu, beans, legumes, nuts & seeds.
So show yourself a little love this month!Even increasing the veggies in your diet by just a little bit can make a big difference to long term health and a very happy heart.