Whilst most of us are aware that the health of our heart is an important factor in feeling great on the bike, cardiovascular disease is a growing concern in the UK.
Small changes in diet and exercise can go a long way in helping to keep your heart healthy and eating more fruits and vegetables is the perfect place to start. Typically, the suggestion is to include a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and flavours when it comes to selecting those we include as not only does this have a positive impact visually and therefore mentally, but it also ensures you are getting the variety of nutrients that you need.
A healthy diet and regular exercise should help keep your heart healthy – but there is an extra ingredient believed to give you that extra boost. Researchers believe Montmorency tart cherries may provide a number of cardiovascular benefits due to the intensity of anthocyanins inside these ruby-red fruits. In fact, recent studies indicate that Montmorency tart cherries may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and even help reduce belly fat!
With a busy schedule it’s not always easy to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need in your meals – especially breakfast where you’re busy preparing for the day. That’s where our overnight oats recipe comes in. You can knock up a batch on a Sunday evening, and then enjoy a tasty wholesome breakfast every day. Here’s how…
What you will need to make 2 servings of Overnight Oats:
- 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons cherry concentrate
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a large jar or container, mix together your oats, almond milk, dried Montmorency tart cherries, slivered almonds, cherry concentrate, chia seeds and 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, spoon into bowls and enjoy cold or warmed up.
- Pop on a few extra dried Montmorency cherries, treat yourself to some slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey or simply enjoy this delicious breakfast as it is.
Recipe courtesy of Sydney Kramer
The benefits of cherries:
- They protects the heart
A high intake of anthocyanins was associated with a decreased risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. These are abundant in purple and dark red fruits, such as Montmorency tart cherries.
- They reduces stroke risk
Montmorency tart cherries may help reduce the risk of stroke. Studies found that they acted similar to prescribed drugs that are used to help regulate fat and glucose in patients with metabolic syndrome.
- They lower 'triglycerides'
High triglycerides levels can raise your risk of heart disease. Studies demonstrated that consuming 8 ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily helped to lower triglyceride levels by an average of 17%.
- Decreases cholesterol levels
Albeit in mice, scientists concluded that a 26% decrease in total cholesterol levels and a 65% reduction in early death were likely to be a result of improved cardiovascular health having been given a tart cherry powder.