Do You Feel Your Heart Beating?

A Heart Pumping Amaranth Breakfast

February isn’t only for heart-to-heart Valentine lovers. It’s also NATIONAL HEART MONTH. Did you know that close to 700,000 people die from heart disease every year??  It’s the number one killer in the United States.  

To help protect your heart and keep it beating for years to come, try including foods like the following that help support this vital organ.

Cream of Amaranth 

If you’re tired of the same old oatmeal every day, try switching it up with heart healthy amaranth. When cooked, amaranth has the texture and taste similar to cream of wheat. Amaranth is a gluten-free ancient grain that is more of a seed than a grain, very similar to quinoa! 

How is Amaranth heart healthy? Amaranth is an excellent source of fiber (about 28% of our daily recommended amount in one serving), most notably soluble fiber.  Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in our intestines and carries it out of our body to lower the amount of cholesterol in our blood and protect our heart from damage. 

Other ingredients in this recipe that are heart protective:

  1. Bananas: Most people know that bananas are rich in potassium.  Potassium helps protect our heart by lowering our blood pressure so your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. It does this by helping our body excrete sodium or salt, which often is a big contributing factor to raising blood pressure. 
  2. Berries: This recipe contains blueberries, blackberries and raspberries all with a special antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol helps improve the health of the cells in our arteries, reducing the amount of plaque build-up and keeping our arteries strong and healthy. It also thins our blood to keep blood clots from forming that can lead to a heart attack. 
  3. Walnuts and chia seeds: Walnuts and chia seeds are rich in Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s help prevent heart disease by lowering triglycerides (fats in our blood), reducing blood pressure and raising HDL, our good cholesterol. They also help prevent blood clots from forming and prevent plague buildup in our arteries. 
  4. Cinnamon: As little as½ teaspoon a day has shown to reduce our not so good cholesterol (LDL’s) and lower triglycerides and blood pressure, to help protect our heart.  

Some added goodies: It’s rich in protein, iron and calcium!

Very Berry Amaranth Breakfast

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups of raw amaranth
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup of walnuts
  • ½ of a medium sizebanana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • ¼ cup blackberries
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup soy or oat milk

Preparation

  1. Place amaranth, water and sea salt in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 35-40 minutes.  Amaranth should be nice and creamy! Tip: I will usually cook this the night before to save time and to help it set. 
  2. Once amaranth is ready, measure out ¾ cups of the cooked amaranth into a medium size cereal bowl. 
  3. Top with walnuts, berries, bananas and chia seeds and then add cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla. 
  4. Cover the mixture fully with soy or oat milk.
  5. Enjoy!

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