When it comes to heart health, most of the advice from doctors is a long list of “don’ts.” (Don’t eat too much red meat. Don’t eat sugar. Don’t eat processed foods.) All good advice, of course, but it leaves me wondering what to eat for a heart-healthy breakfast.
If you want to start your day off with a meal that’s working in your heart’s favor, cardiologist Ashok Mittal, MD, who works at Baptist Health Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute in Florida, has a heart-healthy breakfast recommendation: oatmeal. It’s full of cardiovascular benefits, he says.
Need an easy go-to recipe? Try overnight oats:
Dr. Mittal tells the Miami Herald that he switched to a plant-based diet because of the benefits connected to cardiovascular and overall health. “The hardest thing for me to give up was milk in my coffee and eggs in the morning,” he says.
Now, Dr. Mittal starts his day by eating oatmeal splashed with almond or soy milk and a side of fruit. One reason oatmeal is makes such a good choice for breakfast is that the beta-glucan in oats works in favor of blood pressure by helping to reduce cholesterol. Oats also have antioxidants. And of course another big benefit of oatmeal is that it’s high in fiber, which most specifically benefits the digestive system, but is connected to better overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight and metabolism. All fruits and vegetables have antioxidants, so Dr. Mittal’s tip of rounding our your morning meal with a banana, apple, or handful of berries is a good one to follow.
Scientific research shows that making an effort to eat more plant-based foods, as Dr. Mittal does, is connected to better cardiovascular health. It doesn’t mean you have to completely give up meat (Dr. Mittal says he still has it from time-to-time), but limiting it is connected to reaping some pretty amazing health benefits.
This doctor-approved morning meal just goes to show that eating heart-healthy meals doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel—or, your breakfast.
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