Let’s face it. High sodium intake is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, which can lead to many health issues including stroke and heart attack. Sodium is not all bad though. It is a natural element that is found in most natural foods, as well as our regular table salt.
Our bodies require sodium to function well. Sodium participates in muscle contraction, nerve transmission, keeps our pH levels balanced and aids in proper hydration. The common problem for most people is consuming too much unknowingly each and every day.
I am not an expert or a health adviser by any means, but just like you, I am concerned about making healthy dietary choices. I would like to share a few recipes with you that I have found to be very easy to prepare, nutritious, satisfying, and they just happen to contain a much lower amount of sodium than most prepackaged or fast food alternatives.
Please keep in mind that the American Heart Association’s recommended maximum daily sodium intake for the average adult is 1,500 mg. Most Americans consume 3,400+ each day! Let’s take that number down. Shall we?
Below are three recipes to complete one day of your week with a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can find these and other low-sodium recipes to fill up your weekly meal times by visiting www.health.com.
Banana Nut Oatmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup water
1 banana, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Combine oats and 1 cup water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 3 minutes.
2. Top with banana slices, walnuts, and cinnamon.
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 small assorted color bell peppers, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
5 teaspoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish sauce
Olive oil cooking spray
1 large egg white, beaten
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 medium firm-ripe heirloom tomatoes, each cut into 4 large slices
1/4 cup baby arugula
1. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook peppers and garlic, stirring until soft (about 4 minutes). Transfer to a bowl.
2. Combine sour cream and horseradish sauce. Chill until ready to use.
3. Preheat broiler. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place egg white and panko into separate shallow bowls. Dip tomatoes into egg white and coat in panko; place on prepared baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from heat about 1 minute or until panko is golden (turning after 30 seconds). Let tomatoes cool slightly on sheet.
4. Alternate breaded and unbreaded tomatoes with 1 teaspoon pepper mixture, 1/2 teaspoon horseradish sauce, and a few arugula leaves to create 4 stacks. Top with remaining unbreaded tomato slice and an arugula leaf.
Steak & Melon with Smoked Paprika Dressing
3/4 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rings
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1. Preheat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper; grill with onion, turning onion after about 4 minutes and steak after 7 minutes, until meat is medium-rare or to desired degree of doneness. Transfer meat and onion to a cutting board; let rest 5 minutes before slicing steak.
2. In a small bowl, combine honey, lime, olive oil, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper; stir with a whisk. Set dressing aside.
3. Slice steak; arrange on platter with cantaloupe, onions, cilantro, and mint; drizzle with dressing.