(Natural News) Some of the best foods for heart health can also help boost your gut health.
According to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist and New York Times bestselling author, there is a lot of crossover between the two categories.
Davis said doctors “should be experts in nutrition and the microbiome” because the gut microbiome can affect various bodily functions like immunity, brain function and heart health.
He also talked about three foods that help boost both heart and gut health.
Grass-fed meat and organs
Research suggests that a plant-based diet can boost heart health since limiting meat intake and eating more vegetables can help maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people who followed a more plant-based diet enhanced their cardiovascular health by 16 percent.
However, Davis said grass-fed, sustainably sourced meat can be a part of a heart-healthy food pyramid, especially organ meats.
While divisive on the palate, organ meats like tongue, liver and kidney are full of essential vitamins and nutrients such as:
- B vitamins
- Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K)
But if you are too squeamish about eating organ meats, Davis recommends eating grass-fed meat bone-in and skin-on.
For example, chicken skin contains collagen and hyaluronic acid while the bone and bone marrow contain various nutrients. Discarding chicken skin, bones and bone marrow means you’re also throwing away the gut- and heart-healthy benefits of the meat.
Make the most of grass-fed meat and chicken by purchasing the highest-quality meat you can. Save the bones and fat and use recipes that make stews and soups out of it. (Related: Maintaining heart health may be the key to diabetes prevention.)
Legumes are full of dietary fiber, which enhances heart health by decreasing and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol levels.
Your gut microbiome also feeds on plant-based fiber such as prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of a good gut bacteria called Akkermansia muciniphila. When these bacteria are deprived of fiber, they will consume human mucus.
This is bad because mucus is the protective layer of your GI tract. Once this gut bacteria turn to mucus, it can affect your gut health over time.
Because your gut health is linked to many processes, it can also affect your heart, brain and skin health as well.
To keep your heart and gut healthy, Davis suggests prioritizing your fiber intake by getting a healthy serving of legumes regularly. He also warned that people on “strict, low-carb diets and don’t pay attention to the intake of those sources of fiber may pay a long-term health price.”
Food-grade essential oils
Essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy, and Davis said food-grade oils may offer benefits for your gut and heart health. In a gut health setting, he noted that terpenes from essential oils “are very effective.”
Study suggests that the ingestion of certain essential oils can offer benefits during moments of digestive distress. To illustrate, peppermint essential oil has been shown to promote gut comfort.
Bitter orange oil, meanwhile, has been studied for its effectiveness in gastric health.
Davis recommends using essential oils in a “very specific way” since the oils shouldn’t be taken directly.
Essential oils are very caustic and they can burn so they need to be diluted properly to avoid adverse effects.
Below are some essential oils you should never ingest:
- White fir
Gut- and heart-friendly recipes to try
The recipes below include fiber-rich superfoods and limit sodium and saturated fat for a healthy gut and heart.
Mixed greens with lentils and apple
Start your day with this refreshing salad made with mixed greens and lentils.
Ingredients for one serving:
- 1?1/2 cups mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cup cooked lentils
- 1 apple, cored and sliced, divided
- 1?1/2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Top the mixed greens with lentils, half apple slices and feta.
- Drizzle the greens with vinegar and oil. Serve the salad with the remaining apple slices on the side.
White bean soup with pasta
Make white bean soup with pasta if you’re craving a filling dish on a cold night.
Ingredients for six servings:
- 1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed
- 8 ounces small whole-wheat pasta (E.g. elbows)
- 2 cups low-sodium no-chicken broth (You can also use chicken broth.)
- 1?1/2 cups frozen mirepoix (diced onion, celery and carrot)
- 1?½ cups frozen cut-leaf spinach
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Put a large saucepan of water on the stove to boil.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mirepoix and cook, stirring, until softened, for at least three minutes. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, salt and ground pepper. Cook and stir for one minute.
- Add the tomatoes and their juices, broth and the beans to the cooked mirepoix and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cover and cook the mirepoix and tomatoes. Stir occasionally for around 10 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down.
- In a pot, cook the pasta in boiling water for one minute less than the package directions. Drain.
- Stir the spinach into the soup. Stir in the pasta just before serving and serve topped with the Parmesan.
Chicken and mango salad
This Asian-inspired salad is sweet with a spicy kick.
Ingredients for four servings:
- 6 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 medium mango, sliced
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions
- 3 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (Optional)
- Whisk the orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sambal oelek (if using) in a large bowl.
- Add the shredded cabbage, peas, chicken, mango, mint and scallions to the dressing and toss gently to coat.
- Serve the salad sprinkled with sesame seeds.
This dish uses white miso paste and maple to give the salmon a sweet and umami-rich flavor boost.
Ingredients for eight servings:
- 1 (2 1/2 pound) skin-on salmon fillet
- 1/4 cup white miso
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 lemons
- 2 limes
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Sliced scallions for garnish
- Position the rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the broiler to high.
- Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Juice one lemon and one lime into a small bowl. Whisk in the miso, olive oil, maple syrup, pepper and cayenne.
- Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the prepared pan and spread the miso mixture on top.
- Slice the remaining lemon and lime in half and arrange around the salmon, cutting sides up.
- Broil the salmon until it flakes with a fork, for about seven to 12 minutes. Serve with the lemon and lime halves and sprinkle with scallions, if using.
Everyone’s body is different so you should try to find out which specific foods work well for your lifestyle.
Instead of restricting your intake of plant- or animal-based foods, Davis recommends a mix of the two if you can tolerate them well.
Watch the video below to know more about four probiotic foods for gut health.
This video is from the Natural News channel on Brighteon.com.
More related stories:
Daily consumption of roselle can improve heart health.
7 Science-backed health benefits of eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Dietitian discusses 4 health benefits of fasting.