Love is in the Air
We thought that with Valentine’s Day right around the corner and our special one night only Valentine’s dinner approaching, what better nutritional topic to discuss than, heart health. Sure, may not sound so lovey-dovey, but eating a heart-healthy diet which promotes longevity, allows for more (quality) time with your loved ones. Heart health can start with your next meal, simple as that. We did some digging into the heart, how to keep it safe, and how to prevent any damage down the line through a clean, plant-based diet.
The U.S. Stats
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death of Americans. Every 34 seconds, one person dies in the United States from cardiovascular disease. In 2020, about 697,000 people in the United States died from heart disease - that’s 1 in every 5 deaths! Think about it in cost terms…including the cost of healthcare services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death, heart disease costs the United States approximately $229 billion each year (1).
The Facts of Heart Health
Those stats are scary but it doesn’t have to be like that. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, physician and researcher in preventative cardiology, is known for his fascinating research, plant-powered family (including grandchildren), and knowledge of preventing and reversing heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and has followed a plant-based diet since 1984 . In an interview with Simon Hill, Esselstyln speaks about treating the causation of illness. He happens to be a physician who takes a significant amount of time with his patients to get to the root cause of illness, focusing on nutrition. Heart disease typically intervenes when the endothelium (the thin membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels)(2) is damaged. “The endothelium manufactures a gas called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide keeps cellular elements within the bloodstream flowing smoothly. It’s the strongest blood vessel dilated in the body. It will protect the wall of the artery from inflammation which can cause hypertension, high blood pressure. And a safe and adequate amount of nitric oxide can keep us from developing blockages and plaque. (3)”
Esselstyn states that once one stops further damage to their endothelium (see ideal heart healthy foods below), it may be recovered and can make enough nitric oxide to stop disease progression and maybe even reversal. Esselstyn can rattle off his favorite heart healthy vegetables at any given moment with the rhythmic ability of Black Thought of the legendary Philly Roots crew.
Bok choy, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, Napa cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, parsley, spinach, arugula and asparagus.
The antioxidants in plant foods such as dark leafy greens and berries are incredibly important for heart health.
Eat Heart Healthy at P.S. & Co.
You can still eat an abundant, nutrient-rich, and flavor-packed diet while taking care of your heart. Try to avoid high amounts of inflammatory oils (canola, “vegetable”, grapeseed, palm and other seed oils) and highly processed foods which can include these oils, extra sugars, and excessive sodium. Animal fats and dairy products can also dangerously lead to plaque in the arteries (4).
Our Valentine’s Day Dinner - Indulge in our curated menu handcrafted by Executive Chef Salimah Stith and Pastry Chef Katie Dyer, featuring organic, farm-fresh seasonal ingredients with a set four course menu featuring a seasonal soup, salad, entree, dessert courses and plenty of surprises in between.
Organic Protein-Packed Amaranth Porridge with organic fresh berries, organic maple roasted pecans, and house-made organic fruit jam slow cooked with organic cold-pressed lemon juice and a touch of organic maple sugar.
Organic Burmese Chickpea Curry a family recipe of Andrea’s filled with nutrient rich organic forbidden rice, generous heaps of organic lacinato kale and sauteed with Andrea’s mom’s chili oil and topped with Burmese shallow-fried onions.
Organic Spicy BBQ Tempeh Kale Caesar Salad a grain-free option, but still loaded with heart healthy carbohydrates from freshly julienned organic lacinato kale, organic fermented tempeh marinated in our signature organic maple BBQ sauce, topped with gut supportive pickled onions and dressed with our creamy organic Caesar dressing.
Organic Acai Bowl a powerful bowl of antioxidants with unsweetened organic acai, organic pitaya (optional), organic mango passion fruit (optional), organic almond butter (optional), blended with organic bananas and topped with a generous blanket of organic fresh berries and organic nut and seed muesli. Our acai bowls are like no other because we do not use milks or juices to dilute our acai bowls.
Organic RAW Juicery Cold-Pressed Juices freshly cold-pressed and shipped directly to us. Enjoy a healthy selection of wellness shots, probiotic-infused elixirs and vegetable packed juices.
Organic Turmeric Latte full of organic turmeric and other healing spices to reduce inflammation from the inside out.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, October 14). Heart disease facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
2 Endothelial function testing. Cedars. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://www.cedars-sinai.org/programs/heart/clinical/womens-heart/conditions/endothelial-function-testing.html#:~:text=The%20endothelium%20is%20a%20thin,substance%20in%20the%20blood)%20adhesion.
4 Greger, M., & Stone, G. (2018) 25. How not to die discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease. Pan.