(Family Features) Taking care of your heart requires a commitment to the right routines and smart decisions, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple ingredients already in your kitchen may offer powerful protection to keep your heart healthy.
For example, more than a decade of research shows 100% orange juice and its vitamins and minerals may play a beneficial role in helping lower blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.
A study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition” by researchers at Eurecat, Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya, in Reus, Spain provides further support for 100% orange juice’s role in heart health, and offers additional insight into a unique component in orange juice, called hesperidin, that may have antioxidant activity and contribute to orange juice’s cardiovascular benefits.
The study, which was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus, determined that adults with pre- or stage-1 hypertension who drank about 2 cups of 100% orange juice per day saw significant reductions in systolic blood pressure and other markers of heart health and inflammation.
“Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “For those with mild hypertension, including something as simple and pure as 100% orange juice in your daily healthy routine may help make significant improvements in such a prevalent problem.”
Beyond its heart health benefits, many studies, including a National Health & Nutrition Survey published in “Nutrition Journal,” have found that 100% orange juice consumption is associated with higher diet quality and increased levels of key nutrients, including many that are under-consumed, like potassium.
“The vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium found in 100% orange juice can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, which is a big factor in heart health,” said Kaleigh McMordie, RDN and founder of the blog “Lively Table.”
With no added sugar and no fat, cholesterol or sodium, Florida Orange Juice can help you take advantage of these nutritious benefits from breakfast to dinner with dishes like Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad, an easy way to add potassium and vitamin C at the family table, especially when paired with an 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice. For those busy mornings on the go, an Orange Kale Smoothie can be the fuel you need as a filling option with less than five ingredients that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and vitamin K and a good source of potassium and thiamin.
For more information on the heart health benefits of 100% orange juice, visit FloridaJuice.com.
Easy Heart Healthy Recipes:
Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad
- 1 1/4 cups Florida Orange Juice, divided
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound salmon filets
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch collard greens (about 8 ounces), stems and center ribs removed
- 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray small glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set salmon in dish.
- In small saucepan over high heat, combine 1 cup 100% orange juice, white wine, garlic and 1 teaspoon grated ginger; bring to simmer.
- Pour poaching liquid over salmon and cover with aluminum foil.
- Poach in oven 15-20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.
- In lidded jar, combine remaining 100% orange juice, remaining grated ginger, olive oil, vinegar and shallot; shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cut collard greens into thin ribbons and transfer to large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over collard greens; toss well to combine and fully coat.
- Remove salmon from liquid and serve on top of collard greens. Sprinkle with almonds.
- Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
Orange Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups Florida Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup kale, tough stems removed
- 4 mint leaves
- In large blender, blend 100% orange juice, frozen pineapple, kale and mint leaves until smooth.
- Pour into tall glass.
SOURCE: Florida Department of Citrus