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This week is Heart Week, a week dedicated to encouraging more people to understand their risk factors for heart disease and take the right steps to reduce this risk.

As a Nutritionist, I am aware of the benefits a healthy diet can have on heart health and how small changes to the diet can really make a difference.

Once such change is how you choose to start your day. Specifically, making sure your breakfast contains heart healthy ingredients can not only help support your heart but can also motivate you to continue to make healthy choices for the remainder of the day.

Here are 3 breakfast ideas to support a healthy heart.

Salmon & turmeric hummus on wholegrain toast

Serves 2

100g cooked salmon, flaked
handful baby rocket leaves
¼ punnet grape tomatoes, diced
2-4 slices wholegrain toast
1 tbsp. hemp seeds or crushed raw nuts
Turmeric hummus
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ tsp. turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp. tahini paste
squeeze lemon juice
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 glove garlic, crushed (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


To make the hummus, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, add water to thin the mixture if needed. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To assemble, spread hummus on each slice of toast, top with salmon, cherry tomatoes, rocket and hemp seeds.

Key heart friendly ingredients

Salmon: good source of omega 3 fatty acids, these essential fats are particularly good for heart health because they are linked to a reduced cardiovascular disease risk due to their ability to reduce triglycerides, improve blood vessel elasticity and reduce the potential for blood clots and inflammation. If you don’t eat fish, alternative sources of essential fats are chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and flax/linseeds.

Turmeric: contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, beneficial for heart health.

Chickpeas: great source of fibre and antioxidants, which may help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. The fibre and plant-based protein content also helps to increase satiety and support healthy blood glucose levels.

Steel cut oat & pear porridge

Serves 2

1 large pear, grated
½ cup steel cut oats, soaked overnight in milk or water
1 cup milk of choice + ½-1 cup water (or more as needed)
¼ tsp. cinnamon, ground
honey, to sweeten
Fresh berries
Oat bran
Crushed nuts
Hemp seeds


Add soaked steel cut oats, milk, water and cinnamon to a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20min until oats are tender, stirring occasionally (add additional liquid as required)

Stir grated pear through the porridge and sweeten to taste.

Remove from the heat, pour into 2 bowls and finish with toppings of choice.

Key heart friendly ingredients

Steel cut oats and oat bran: Fibre is a great tool to help support heart health because fibre can help to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and help us to maintain a healthy weight. Soluble fibre is particularly good for lowering cholesterol because it binds to cholesterol and helps with the removal of cholesterol from the body.

Cinnamon: another spice rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which helps to protect against oxidative stress and may help to reduce fats in the blood.

Pear: another good source of fibre and antioxidants, make sure to keep the skin on for extra benefit!

Nutty breakfast smoothie

 Serves 2

2 tbsp. natural yoghurt
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1-2 bananas, frozen, cut into chunks
2 cups plant-based milk of choice
1/3 cup raw nuts of choice, chopped roughly
1 tbsp. hemp seeds or flaxseeds
handful baby spinach, optional
honey and ice, optional


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into two glasses to serve.

Key heart friendly ingredients

Nuts: Research has shown that eating 20g of nuts daily can cut peoples risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30%. Walnuts have one of the highest antioxidant content of all nuts and are a particularly good choice when it comes to heart health.

Blueberries: Blueberries offer a rich source of anthocyanins (antioxidant compound), known to be protective against high blood pressure, a known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Hemp seeds: a plant-based source of omega-3 essential fats which must be consumed in the diet and exert anti-inflammatory effects.