Eating for Heart Health

Heart disease is currently one of the highest-ranked causes of early mortality in adults. There are many factors involved in heart health, and one of the most important is diet. Here are some heart-healthy foods.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Heart Doctor Away
Scientists have confirmed that apples significantly contribute to a healthy heart. In fact, eating two to three apples per day results in decreased cholesterol levels due to the fruit’s rich pectin content. Pectin also helps prevent colon cancer; you can think of it as a broom that sweeps our intestines. Munching apples is one snack temptation that is healthy to give in to!

Dr. Mao’s Salmon Leek Salad with Ginger-Miso dressing for your Heart Health

1 serving

This recipe is a cardio-health wonder! Salmon is rich is omega 3 fatty acids which protect against heart disease and stroke. Miso is made from fermented soybeans, providing the numerous benefits of soy, one of which is protecting your heart. The rice vinegar promotes good digestion and is also good for dissolving plaque buildup in the arteries.


• 1 (6-oz) salmon fillet
• 5 slices peeled fresh ginger
• 6 leeks, halved lengthwise


• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 2 tbsp miso paste
• 1/2 tsp ginger powder

• 1/2 head lettuce, washed, leaves separated


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a sheet of foil, large enough to loosely tent around salmon, on a baking pan. Rub the salmon with cut side of ginger and 1 pinch of salt. Place in center of foil and cover with ginger slices and leeks. Bring up sides of foil, folding top and sides to make a tent. Bake 30 minutes.
2. Make dressing: Meanwhile, heat vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until warm. Add miso paste and ginger powder, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat.
3. Line a serving plate with lettuce leaves. Place leeks on lettuce and top with salmon. Pour dressing over salmon. Serve warm or cold.

Braised Chicory with Red Wine Vinegar: A Heart-Healthy Side Dish

Serves 4

Chicory is a vegetable eaten in Asia and parts of Europe. In the United States, the root is more commonly roasted and brewed as a coffee substitute but it is also delicious when braised as a vegetable.  Chicory contains a compound called inulin that has been found to be useful in preventing and treating congestive heart failure.  It is also helpful with lowering cholesterol and slow hardening of arteries.  Similar benefits can be derived from vinegar, which is used as part of this simple but tasty recipe.  Enjoy a new vegetable that not only satisfies your taste buds but also makes your heart strong and healthy.


* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 8 chicory heads, trimmed
* 1/3 cup chicken stock
* 2 tsp red wine vinegar
* 1 tsp maple syrup
* 2 tbsp walnut oil
* 1 tbsp finely chopped chives, for garnish


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add chicory and lightly brown on all sides. Add stock, vinegar and maple syrup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer until nearly all the fluids have evaporated. It depends on the heat setting, but generally, on low heat, it will take 10 to 15 minutes for full evaporation.
2. To serve: Ladle into bowls, drizzle with walnut oil and garnish with chives, if desired.

I hope these recipes help you stay healthy and keep your heart pumping well into the future! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

-Dr. Mao

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This entry was posted in Blog.