Health Benefits of the DASH Diet and 9 Delicious Recipes

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Health Benefits of the DASH Diet and 9 Delicious Recipes

The DASH diet (short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) — was originally designed to help lower blood pressure. Interestingly, the diet showed other benefits such as reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and yes, weight loss!

1 Grilled Banana Split Breakfast Bowl

Eating plenty of produce is a key part of the DASH diet. You’ll kick-start your day on a healthy note with a big, scrumptious bowl of fruits for breakfast. And you’ll be delighted that this recipe is inspired by dessert: a banana split! Here you’ll be quickly grilling or pan-grilling the banana for taste intrigue. (You can skip the grilling if you’re in a rush.) A naturally flavored fat-free Greek yogurt is the dairy pick of choice, which provides high-quality protein to balance the meal. Plus, there’s a little sprinkling of chocolate chips for added flavor and fun, showcasing that chocolate needs to be limited, but not off limits. CALORIES: 496.


2 Herbed Wild Mushroom Oatmeal

If you compare a breakfast bowl of cornflakes to oatmeal, the oatmeal provides more satiety (a feeling of fullness) and may contribute to lower calorie intake at lunchtime. That’s what a new study in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism finds. This recipe is a bowl of delightful, filling oatmeal, but with a twist. Rather than adding anything fruity or sugary, this oatmeal is 100 percent savory. It’s packed with sauteed wild mushrooms, and fresh rosemary provides an herbal note. The star is the egg on top. You can sprinkle the oatmeal with Romano cheese, if you prefer. It’s kind of like risotto. And it’s a breakfast-recipe keeper. CALORIES: 252.


3 Easy Middle Eastern Hummus Wrap

Wraps are an ideal culinary vehicle in which to easily boost vegetable intake. It doesn’t get much simpler than tossing ingredients onto a tortilla and wrapping them up for lunch. For this recipe, you’ll start with a whole-grain tortilla — just an eight-inch one to assure it can hold the fillings, but without providing excess carbs. Then you’ll stuff the wrap with fresh ingredients offering Middle Eastern flair. Hummus is the main feature, so choose one that you love — or make your own. Tomato, cucumber, red onion and baby lettuce give body and bite. Lemon zest or sumac (a Middle Eastern spice) provides cool tang. And the addition of fragrant fresh mint makes this vegetarian wrap seem extra special! CALORIES: 302.


4 Leafy Rotisserie Chicken Salad With Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Have a hankering for a creamy, comforting chicken-salad sandwich? Try this: It’ll satisfy your taste buds while still fitting into the DASH diet plan. One trick to keeping it trim is using a cleverly healthful salad dressing. You’ll just toss cannellini or other white beans, white balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and fresh tarragon in a blender and whirl. The beans make it creamy while sneaking extra fiber and protein into your salad. The salad recipe is kept simple from there. You’ll top a bed of mesclun or baby arugula with cubes of rotisserie chicken breast (preferably organic), red grapes, cucumber, toasted pine nuts, more beans and tarragon and black pepper. It’s a winner! CALORIES: 362.


5 Spicy Bean Chili

When it’s chilly outside, a bowl of chili can quickly warm you up inside. If you prefer a vegetarian meal, this is it. Luckily, it only requires 20 minutes on the stovetop. It’s loaded with vegetable goodness, including onions, jalapenos, kidney beans and canned tomatoes. Interestingly, when tomatoes are processed to create the canned version, it makes the carotenoid lycopene in the tomatoes more available to your body than it is from fresh tomatoes. Lycopene, an antioxidant as well as a pigment that makes tomatoes red, is associated with lower risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancers. So you’ll be able to slurp up this robust chili knowing it has benefits beyond just fitting into the DASH diet. CALORIES: 273.


6 Spinach-Stuffed Turkey-Burger Patties

Can’t decide whether you’d like a veggie or a turkey burger? You don’t have to. You can sink your teeth into both — all in one patty! Basically, this starts as a turkey burger, then the addition of a significant amount of fresh baby spinach gives it vegetable-lovers’ appeal. It incorporates other nutritious ingredients, such as oats, garlic, lemon juice and an egg, to provide a just-right taste and texture too. Worth noting is that the duo of spinach and egg provides a healthful dose of eye-friendly lutein and zeaxanthin. Serve this bodacious burger as desired, such as on a whole-grain bun with your favorite vegetable toppings and a dab of Dijon. CALORIES: 172.


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