Heart ailments are a common phenomenon all over the world, more so with fast-paced lives increasingly becoming a trend. According to studies, they have become a major cause of deaths all over the world. Coupled with this is lack of attention towards a healthy diet.
The desire for indulgence or simply the need for instant gratification makes us immediately grab oily, salty food, without a second thought. So here’s a second thought- while the manifestations for heart diseases vary from high cholesterol levels to hypertension, they are also interlinked to each other, and can be warded off by eating right.
The right diet
The normal range of blood pressure is 120/80, and if it’s any higher, it calls for a visit to the doctor, and taking the prescribed medicines. In addition, it’s often been recommended to include a mix of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds in your high blood pressure diet. Foods enriched with potassium work wonders for fighting high blood pressure. The most important point to remember is to avoid salty, fat-loaded foods that spike sodium levels and increase blood pressure.
Changes in your diet plan can have enormously positive effects for lowering BP levels. Beets, berries, watermelon, oats, leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli etc expel excess sodium from your body. Apart from these, conscious choices in food are also effective. Opt for dark chocolates instead of other variants. Dark chocolates with 50 to 70 per cent cocoa help in fighting hypertension and high blood pressure.
Spinach and chickpea soup: A delicious, healthy meal
An easy-to-prepare recipe, with fresh, easily available ingredients, this soup makes for an excellent go-to dish for your hunger pangs and meals. Spinach contains high levels of potassium which helps you pee frequently. This lowers sodium in your kidneys, thereby reducing your blood pressure. The magnesium in spinach helps you in relaxing your muscles.
According to NDTV, chickpeas contain good quality fibres, which promote healthy heart. In addition, they’re naturally low on sodium. Did you know 1 cup of chickpeas contains only 11 mg of sodium? Chickpeas are also known to lower cholesterol, aid in digestion and weight loss. Try this interesting version of the soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/3 quarts vegetable stock
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons corn meal
1/2 pound spinach, rinsed and chopped
Ground cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a large pot, and add garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat, till they turn tender. Season with cumin and coriander, and stir well.
Now, mix vegetable stock and potatoes into the pot, and bring them to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer about 10 minutes. Put in chickpeas and continue to cook until potatoes are tender.
Take a small bowl, and combine heavy cream, tahini, and corn meal.
Finally, add spinach into the soup. Season with some cayenne pepper and salt. Continue to cook until spinach is thoroughly heated.
Your thick, creamy delicious soup is ready!
What’s more? You can have multiple variations in your soup and experiment with flavours. Add broccoli, carrots, peas for a veggie-loaded version, or add moderate amounts of cheese if it’s your cheat day!