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Heart Health: Take advantage of the benefits of Summer!

By admin, 4:26 pm on

At last, a season that is good for us, with very little effort. Enjoy this last month of lovely summer weather.

  • Get a little more relaxation in

    Naturally, summer is a time for taking off from work. If you haven’t done this yet, play a little hooky and lower your blood pressure in the process. One study found that people who took at least one vacation per year were roughly 30% less likely to die from a heart-related ailment, as opposed to those slaved relentlessly.

  • Go where nature is drawing you—outside!

    Move your body and take advantage of the season’s outdoor opportunities to swim, bike, hike, garden, or just stroll. Exercise doesn’t seem like a chore when it is more like play.

  • Soak up the D and lower your cholesterol. Yep.

    Did you know we can get Vitamin D by just being out in the sun for about 10-15 minutes a day? While most other essential vitamins are found in our food naturally, we actually synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. This is important because vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining the ratio of our “good” cholesterol to “bad” cholesterol. Studies have shown that, on average, levels of bad cholesterol are 8% higher in the winter, and levels of good cholesterol increase by 5% in the summertime. Since more sunlight means more vitamin D, it makes sense that our levels of good cholesterol increase during this time of year.

  • Have a summer outdoor party with lots of good, healthy food

    Summer parties are another great way to relax and nurture your human connections without the food orgy of Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter.  Besides, when you’re out in the sun all day you naturally want to eat a light meal.

  • Relish all the relish!

    Many fruits and vegetables are in season throughout the summer, making them less expensive. And, if you’re lucky like me, your home-gardening friends take pity on you and your black thumbs and give you their extra garden produce.  This is the best time of year to eat fresh vegetables and fruit. Blueberries, in particular, are the ripest, freshest and the cheapest during the summer, so eat up!

To celebrate summer, here’s an easy recipe for a summer fruit salad. This quick, refreshing dish is packed with nutrients and is the perfect addition to any summer soiree. 

Berries and Melon Sweet Summer Salad

Six to eight servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cupvanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • ½ cup of blackberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 2 cups watermelon balls
  • 2 cups cantaloupe balls
  • 2 cups halved fresh strawberries
  • sprigs of mint

Directions

In a salad bowl whisk together the yogurt, honey and lemon juice until smooth. Gently fold in the fruit. Toss to coat, garnish with mint and then serve.

Healthy diet is one of the tenets of the Balanced Care Method and at Home Care Assistance we always try to offer meals that are not only nutritious but also delicious. To complement our philosophy, our caregivers learn healthy cooking techniques through our Home Care Assistance University Culinary Training course and have access to a multitude of recipes from our Comfort Foods Cookbook.

Photo Credit: Scott Rettberg, Heart Shaped Berry

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