Heart health is our blog topic today. You all know the benefits of eating clean (My two favourite heart health Ayurveda recipes following) and exercise, but here are a few more food specifics to ensure your heart stays healthy.
The two leading Ayurveda heart foods are garlic and ginger. Both of these foods naturally kindle agni, which is an Ayurveda term for digestive fire. It’s easy peasy to add garlic and ginger to cooked dishes, or you can make a ginger tea by boiling a few slices of fresh ginger in water. Ginger tea can be particularly beneficial during the colder seasons.
Turmeric also supports the proper function of the heart by purifying the blood, strengthening digestion and helps to eliminate ama (toxins) from the digestive tract. This now well-known golden spice can be added to food or taken alone for a wide range of health benefits. Turmeric is available as a powder, tablets, and as a liquid extract in dropper form, so choose whichever product is right for you. Remember that mixing black pepper with turmeric increases its potency by almost double! I premix mine so that I don’t forget.
Chyavanprash is a traditional, organic Ayurvedic herbal jam made in a base of amalaki fruit and is a real rejuvenate that nourishes and strengthens the tissues while also boosting immunity, all encouraging good heart health. Studies suggest that amalaki supports better reactions to short-term stress and balanced blood sugar, which are vital to maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. A daily dose of this nutritive jam can support energy, vitality, and overall well-being. Take one to two teaspoons daily, or put on toast with eggs.
Soaked blanched almonds are also excellent for the heart due to increasing the good cholesterol and decreasing the bad cholesterol.
Putting lime juice on your vege’s is a helpful tip for the heart. Find a friend who has a lime tree and start squeezing…. Lime peel and lime juice contain antioxidants that slow down the process of atherogenesis, the buildup of plaque on artery walls. How cool is that!
Pomegranates offer abundant health for the cardiovascular system by supporting arterial health. In one Israeli study, with only 2 ounces a day of pure pomegranate juice, blood pressure fell by 21% after one year and plaque lesions in the carotid artery were reduced in size by 35% in combination with healthy diet and exercise. Watch where you get your pomegranate juice from and check the labels as most supermarket juices only have 0.5% of the extract. I’ve found a great pomegranate juice in Bin Inn.
Before we get to the recipes below – I would love your tips on heart health – Hop on over and like our Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/fusionayurvedaNZ/ find this blog post and comment on it what do you do to keep your heart healthy, maybe you have a recipe to share? The most liked suggestion will win a beautiful Bulgarian rose cooling mist from Fabular Skincare. Soooo nice in this muggy weather and also the scent of the rose is beneficial in heart health 🙂
Baked Kumara stuffed with Turmeric Hummus. Vegan, GF
For The Turmeric Hummus:
- 250g cooked chickpeas
- zest and juice of 1 large lime
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder, optional
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
For The Baked Sweet Potato:
- 2 large kumara or regular potato
- 1 cup spinach or greens of choice
- 1 cup lettuce, optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, optional
- 1/2 pomegranate
To Make The Baked Kumara/Potato:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Scrub the kumara clean and dry. Lay it on a parchment-lined tray and bake for anywhere between 45 and 60 minutes depending on the size of the sweet potato. You know it is ready when it starts giving out sticky juices.
To Make The Turmeric Hummus:
- Add all the ingredients mentioned above for the hummus into a food processor. Make sure you add the zest of the lime as well as the juice. Start by adding half cup of water.
- Blend till smooth in the processor. Check the texture. If it is too dry add more water. If you prefer it thicker, do not add any more water. Check the seasoning and adjust the salt and lime juice. It should be a bright yellow color and creamy and smooth in texture.
To Make The Salad Topping:
- Roughly chop the lettuce, spinach and herbs and mix together. Pop the pomegranate and separate the seeds.
- Carefully place the kumara on a serving platter or individual serving plates. Using a knife split the sweet potato from top to bottom but and not completely. Be careful this may be very hot.
- Take a generous scoop of the turmeric hummus and stuff each sweet potato. Press into each sweet potato and fill in as much as possible.
- Add a handful of the chopped green salad on top and press down into the hummus. Scatter with the pomegranate seeds and serve hot or warm. Get. In. My. Belly. 🙂
1 cup organic oats
2 cups of milk of your choice (or water if you don’t enjoy milk)
1 tbs pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
Pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt
Soak your oats and seeds in milk (water) overnight if you have time, otherwise soak for a few minutes, then heat in a pot with the spices and berries. Easy peasy! (feeds 2 of us).
Please note that berries and dairy don’t go well together if both are not heated. Enjoy!