Professional chef and health journalist Candice Kumai knows how to whip up a good meal. Her latest cookbook, Clean Green Eats, is full of heart-healthy recipes that will easily become your new favorites. Just wait until you see her oatmeal.
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This anti-inflammatory smoothie does exactly what you'd hope: It helps the body combat inflammation and tastes great. "I love the natural, positively packed anti-inflammatory powers from the blueberries, blackberries, and walnuts — it tastes like a berry milkshake," Kumai says. Those walnuts are also good for heart health, with unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Drink up!
It's time to take your oatmeal up a notch. In this version, Greek yogurt takes center stage. "Add in some heart-healthy oatmeal, plus antioxidant-packed berries, and you've got yourself a slammin' treat for breakfast," Kumai says. Pretty yummy, especially considering eating one and a half cups of blueberries each week can reduce your heart attack risk by as much as 34 percent, according to a 2013 study in Circulation.
What's not to love about lentils? They're full of fiber and protein that will keep you full all day long, so throwing them into a hearty soup is always a wise decision. "This is a perfect post-workout soup — just one bowl will give you the protein fix your body is craving," says Kumai.
These little guys will make your heart happy, too. A 2014 review of 26 studies showed that one daily serving (3/4 cup) of legumes — such as lentils, beans, or chickpeas — was linked to a 5 percent reduction in "bad" LDL cholesterol.