Just about everyone on the planet knows that eating lots of vegetables and fruit will make you a healthier person. But did you know that it will also make you a happier person?
Researchers from the University of Warwick have just found that eating more fruit and vegetables can substantially increase our happiness levels. The study, to be published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that happiness benefits were detected for each extra daily portion of vegetables and fruit eaten, up to 8 portions per day.
And get this: For those who went from eating hardly any fruit and veggies to eating 8 portions daily, the researchers concluded that they would experience a boost in happiness equivalent to going from being unemployed to being employed! All the more reason to work some fruit and vegetables into each of your heart healthy meals.
But while it’s easy to simply top your morning oatmeal with a sliced banana or mix some organic berries into your lunchtime yogurt, it can seem more difficult to balance out your meals with a tasty serving of vegetables. That’s why I’m sharing some of my favorite heart healthy vegetable recipes here.
My Top 5 Heart Healthy Vegetable Recipes
- Roasted Cauliflower: Slice cauliflower or turnips into quarter-inch pieces. Place in a single layer in lined pan, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic or Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. Sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese before serving.
- Sauteed Vegetable Parmesan: Pan-fry bite-sized pieces of broccoli, onions, and sliced mushrooms in olive oil, spray with butter, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving. Or, season with a drizzle of low-sodium soy sauce and sesame seeds for an Oriental flavor. Or, for a third flavor combination, season with sesame-ginger sauce.
- Cranberry Butternut Squash: Boil butternut squash until tender, add dried unsweetened cranberries, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a hefty sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Warm Potato Salad: Boil Yukon gold potatoes and add a sprinkle of frozen peas part way through cooking. Add sliced black olives (drain well to remove salt) and add a small amount of butter or olive oil before serving.
- Steamed Kale: Steam kale about 10 minutes, drain. Add a tad of butter and parmesan or feta cheese before serving.
Now it’s your turn: Do you have an easy and tasty heart healthy recipes?