7th February 2021

Valentine’s Day. Love it or loathe it, we’ve all been there. You’re either in the red roses, fancy cards, and lavish gestures camp OR you proudly state that every day should be Valentine’s and march swiftly on with your day. Whatever your preference it’s hard to get away from the countless marketing and advertising campaigns designed to make you part with your cash.  

Despite the gimmick-factor, one thing’s for sure. Whether your heart is entwined or single on February 14th, it’s an important piece of you and needs looking after! 

That’s why on this Valentine’s Day, we’re asking you to look after number one and consider incorporating superfoods in your diet which are proven to contribute to a healthy heart.  

Chia Seeds 

You may wonder what these tiny little seeds can offer but believe us when we say they are packed with powerful potential to improve your health.  

They’re rich in fiber, protein, and omega-3s which have all been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, as well as being loaded with antioxidants for positive overall health effects. 

The best thing about chia seeds is they can be sprinkled on top of your favourite food and drinks to give you a healthy boost in the right direction. 

Green Tea 

Research part-funded by the British Heart Foundation found that dangerous blockages caused by a build-up of plaque could be broken down by a compound found in green tea (British Heart Foundation, 2018) 

The compound known as ECGC is a catechin and catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage as well as provide other health benefits. 

The research did acknowledge however, that you would need to drink green tea consistently over a long period of time to reap the rewards.  

Oats 

A 2015 study testing health claims regarding the cholesterol lowering effects of soluble fiber in oats affirmed that oat beta-glucans reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol (Whitehead, Beck, Tosh, et al, 2015).  

This is because beta-glucan is shown to increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thereby reducing circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood.  

The great thing about oats is they can be super quick to make and can be enjoyed every day for breakfast or in special treats such as muffins, granola bars, or baked items. 

Spinach 

This leafy green vegetable has long been known as a superfood ever since Popeye ripped open the cans and downed the green stuff in a single gulp. But how exactly does spinach benefit heart health? 

Well, the high levels of nitrate found in spinach have been positively linked to lowering blood pressure, a major heart disease risk factor.  

What’s special about spinach is a single leaf is packed with dense nutrients and it’s relatively easy to incorporate it into your diet. 

Avocados 

A recent study highlighted by The Harvard Catalyst indicates that eating one avocado a day could keep the cholesterol at bay (Bohn, 2019).  

The study found that avocados helped reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles which can contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries. It was particularly LDL particles that had been oxidised however, which were found to be most reduced by eating avocado (Bohn, 2019).  

Oxidisation in the body is harmful and several studies have suggested it can evolve into serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease (Bohn, 2019). 

Quinoa 

Quinoa has gained popularity in recent years as the “trendy wholegrain” of celebrities and social media influencers. This accolade isn’t misplaced, however. 

Like many of the superfoods listed above, quinoa is rich in antioxidants and fiber which can contribute to lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as preventing damage to cells. 

At Peel we love healthy hearts! 

We have something for everyone, including items which contain the superfoods mentioned above: 

Chia Seeds can be added as a booster ingredient to any of our House Juices or Smoothies. 

Green Tea is included in our vast selection of Herbal Teas. 

Gluten free Oats are served up in our bowl of Everyday Porridge. 

Our Butternut Lentil Spinach Soup will give you your daily share of spinach

The Multi Seeded Bagel allows you to include a topping of fresh Avocado Salsa. 

And finally, 

Our Healthy Home & Gifts section offers a bag of Just Natural Organic Red Quinoa for you to take home and cook. 

All these items can be ordered through our app and delivered directly to your front door. 

References: 

Bohn, K. (2019). One avocado a day for heart healthy benefits. The Harvard Catalysthttps://catalyst.harvard.edu/news/article/one-avocado-a-day-helps-lower-bad-cholesterol-for-heart-healthy-benefits/#:~:text=In%20a%20randomized%2C%20controlled%20feeding,adults%20with%20overweight%20or%20obesity.  

Whitehead, A., Beck, E. J., Tosh, S., et al. (2015). Cholesterol lowering effects of oat beta-glucan: a meta analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(6). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25411276/  

Will drinking green tea reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes? (2018). The British Heart Foundation. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/behind-the-headlines/green-tea