Why eat heart healthy foods?
There’s good reason to devote a whole month to heart health and heart healthy foods: heart disease remains the #1 killer of all American men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is responsible for about 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S.
While the statistics are scary, there are simple things you can do right now to reduce your risk of developing heart disease–and the tastiest way is to eat a diet rich in heart healthy foods.
Heart healthy pizza
I promise you… heart-healthy foods can be tasty, like this Basil-Tuna Pizza.
Start with a whole wheat pizza dough, which contains more dietary fiber (helps lower cholesterol to keep your heart strong!) and less saturated fat than restaurant pizza crust. Spread with a little tomato sauce (rich in beta carotene, important for heart health) and then add your favorite heart-healthy toppings, like veggies, olives and tuna. Yes, you read that right… canned tuna, on pizza. Why not? It adds protein, lends a little saltiness and is brimming with heart-healthy omega-3s, which help to reduce inflammation and keep our tickers strong.
Pair with a dark leafy green salad and homemade balsamic vinaigrette (so easy, olive oil + balsamic vinegar + a little mustard, lemon juice and honey) and you have a delicious meal rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber, which help to protect our heart and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And, don’t forget the dark chocolate-covered strawberries and a glass of red wine for an extra healthy heart boost!
- Whole wheat pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup favorite pizza or marinara sauce
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 15-20 black olives, pitted
- 2 (5-oz.) can light or albacore tuna
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds
- Fresh basil leaves, torn in large pieces
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out pizza dough on lightly floured surface until dough . Place dough on baking pan or pizza stone. Poke a few holes into dough using a fork. Pinch edges to form a "crust" and brush with olive oil. Spread pizza or marinara sauce on dough. Evenly distribute garlic, onion, olives and tuna over top of sauce. Top with sliced mozzarella, spaced evenly apart. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until crust is golden and cooked through. Add basil leaves to top of pizza. Let cool and cut into 12 slices. Serves 6 (2 slices each).
*Disclaimer: I do consult with the National Fisheries Institute. However, I was not compensated in any way for this post or this recipe and all opinions expressed on this blog are my own.*
PLEASE SHARE: What are your favorite heart-healthy meals? Please share! I’d love to hear from you.