Heart Healthy Mediterranean Recipe

You can definitely reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by eating certain foods every day,” says Julie Zumpano, RD, LD, a dietitian in the Preventive Cardiology and Nutrition Program at Cleveland Clinic. “There is a great variety of fruits and vegetables that are good for your heart.”

“Try to eat foods that are in their natural form, as they come from the ground,” Ms. Zumpano says, recommending what she calls the “whole-foods diet.”

That diet includes, of course, heart-healthy foods such as fish, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself occasionally with a glass of red wine or a piece of dark chocolate, Ms. Zumpano says. She suggests using this list as a guide to create meals and snacks with a healthy focus. Just a few simple swaps could make a big difference for your cardiovascular health.

The Diet Proven to Protect Your Heartt

The Mediterranean diet healthiest for your heart. Pick any traditional dish from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and you’re sure to be on your way to a healthier you. Loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, fish, lean meats and olive oil, the Mediterranean Diet is the diet research shows is best for your heart.

Herbed Greek Chicken Salad

Greek seasoning―as simple as oregano and lemon―pairs fantastically with chicken and forms the base for this fresh and healthful salad. Yogurt and tahini make a creamy dressing, while kalamata olives and feta cheese add their own distinctly Greek flavors to the party. Each large, satisfying serving has only 243 calories.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

divided 1/2 teaspoon salt

divided Cooking spray

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes

5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice divided

1 cup plain fat-free yogurt

2 teaspoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)

1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 cup peeled chopped English cucumber

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

6 pitted kalamata olives, halved

1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine oregano, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken and spice mixture; sauté until chicken is done. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon juice; stir. Remove from pan.

Step 2

Combine remaining 2 teaspoons juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, yogurt, tahini, and garlic in a small bowl; stir well. Combine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and olives. Place 2 1/2 cups of lettuce mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1/2 cup chicken mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese. Drizzle each serving with 3 tablespoons yogurt mixture.

Nutritional Information

Calories 243 Caloriesfromfat 29% Fat 7.7g Satfat 2.3g Monofat 2.9g Polyfat 1.6g Protein 29.7g Carbohydrate 13.4g Fiber 3.5g Cholesterol 70mg Iron 2.5mg Sodium 578mg Calcium 216mg

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