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Heart Health and Mackerel Pate

February is all about affairs of the heart, so what can you do to protect yours by managing blood pressure, cholesterol and keeping blood vessels clear?  

What to eat?
As well as regular exercise, avoiding smoking and managing stress, nutrition is a powerful and pleasurable place to start making changes to support your heart health.
Avoid fried foods, alcohol and sugar, but focus on what you can enjoy and have a varied diet. Think fresh and colourful, not processed.

Eat a diet rich in legumes like peas, beans and lentils as well as whole grains such as rye, oat, brown rice.  This can provide nutrients such as fibre and B vitamins to help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and prevent blood clots.  Try Rutin-rich  buckwheat, which can strengthen arterial walls.

Include vegetables like celery, beetroot, green leafy veg, horseradish and onions. These contain nutrients which can help lower blood pressure and regulate the heartbeat.    
Remember the good fats: nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish like wild salmon, anchovies and sardines, are a great source of Omega 3, which can help protect your entire cardiovascular system.
Finally, drink up to 8 glasses of water a day to help regulate blood pressure.

Seasonal Tip 
In season throughout winter, not only is mackerel very affordable, but it is high in Omega 3.   Make a tasty mackerel paté by mixing a fillet with some ground brazil, almond, walnut and cashew nuts, horseradish, some lemon juice and a bunch of finely chopped parsley.  Serve with some oatcakes as an alternative to sandwiches at lunchtime.

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