Delicious DASH diet sample menu for the summer!
It can only mean one thing when the days get longer and the temperature rises, summer is here! Summer is the time when people explore, spend time with family, go outside and enjoy the weather, workout and relax. It is also the time when many people focus on what they are consuming when they eat, and the effect it has on their body. Oftentimes, people work out or diet to lose weight they may have added over the winter. However, for some people, summer is not the time to lose weight, but one to improve their overall health. Most often, people will try to decrease blood pressure levels by following the DASH diet.
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is an eating plan that focuses on lowering or controlling blood pressure. DASH is designed to help people eat heart healthy foods that naturally lower blood pressure. These foods include fruits, nuts, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products which have high levels of calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium while avoiding processed foods, alcohol, excessive salt, and sugar rich foods. Find more information on the DASH diet and the benefits of the diet here.
At Qardio, we love tasty foods, summer, and the DASH diet. We put together several of our favorite deliciously healthy summer inspired meals. Listed below are the recipes and ingredients for a breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
Breakfast: Whole-Wheat Blueberry Pancakes
1 ⅓ cup white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ⅓ cup skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup fresh (or frozen) whole blueberries
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon together. In another bowl, beat milk, egg, and oil together. Next add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until the flour is moistened. Add blueberries and stir gently. Coat a griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Pour about ¼ cup of batter onto the hot griddle and cook until browned. Flip and repeat with the other side.
Consider adding fresh fruits or one cup of fat-free yogurt with granola or nuts to your breakfast.
6 cups of mixed salad greens (make sure you add a lot of spinach, it’s super healthy!)
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 medium pears, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper for taste
Divide salad greens onto six plates. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and walnuts and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Finally, add black pepper for taste and serve immediately.
Consider adding a side of fresh fruit or whole-grain bread to eat with your salad.
¾ cup herb-flavored stuffing
4 cod fillets, 4 ounces each
¼ cup honey
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place stuffing in a bag and seal. Crush until it has a crumb texture. Brush the fillets with honey. Discard any remaining honey. Place a fillet in the bag of stuffing and shake gently to coat the cod evenly. Place fillet on the baking dish and repeat with the remaining fillets. Bake until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife, about ten minutes, and serve immediately.
Consider adding some vegetables like corn or whole-wheat bread.
Lastly, we know that everyone needs a snack or drink throughout the day! The best drinks following the DASH diet are green or fresh fruit smoothies, unsweetened iced lattes, herbal iced tea (green tea is the best), and finally water. The snacks include trail mix, carrots (or other vegetables) and hummus, or fresh fruit. Popular summer fruits include cherries, apples, watermelon, kiwi, berries (strawberries, blackberries, etc.), peaches, and nectarines.
Note, when shopping for the ingredients make sure to buy fresh. Most excess sodium comes from processed foods, whereas fresh foods are rich with health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As a rule, make sure to never shop for groceries when you are hungry because everything looks appealing, making it hard to resist those high-fat, high-sodium foods.
We hope you enjoy these summer inspired recipes. Don’t forget to check your progress with our digital health devices!
Keep track of your progress with QardioArm, our wireless smart blood pressure monitor. Measure your systolic, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and has irregular heartbeat detection.
Check your weight with QardioBase smart scale and body analyzer using the smart feedback mode! This mode help users overcome the most common reason for goal abandonment: short-term weight fluctuation. Using advanced technologies, QardioBase allows users to track their progress towards their goal by replacing numbers with smileys.