LoveBites: Blood Sugar Balance and its Effect on Your Heart Health

It’s Heart Health Month! I talk a lot about hormones and blood sugar balance, so what does blood sugar balance have to do with heart health?

There are some indications that chronic high blood sugar may contribute to atherosclerosis, a condition that damages blood vessels and may lead to buildup of plaques that affect the ability of blood to flow through. This is why people with conditions like insulin resistance, diabetes, and PCOS may be at higher risk for developing heart disease.

Eating a variety of beneficial foods to improve blood sugar balance may in turn support heart health! So let’s turn our focus to two types of nutrients with that in mind: fiber and resistant starch.

Fiber

This nutrient is important for regulating both heart and hormone health.

Eating a variety of whole plant foods, which are rich in soluble and insoluble fibers, may be helpful for:

  • reducing total cholesterol by binding to it
  • helping manage blood sugar by slowing release of glucose into the bloodstream and keeping you full longer
  • helping eliminate the (excess) products of hormone metabolism to keep sex and stress hormones in better ratios

A great time to focus on fiber for your heart and hormone health is breakfast.

Foods like oats, berries, banana, and chia seeds are high in soluble fiber, which could help keep cholesterol in a better range – as well as a ripple effect of keeping you feeling full until lunchtime by slowing the release of sugars into the bloodstream, easing the insulin impact, and setting you up for fewer cravings later in the day as well.

Try putting these foods together for overnight oats, chia pudding, or right into a smoothie for breakfast!

Resistant Starch

Isn’t starch bad? (Real quick, no, it’s not.)

Resistant starch gets its name because, a lot like fiber, it *resists* digestion. It occurs naturally but also builds up in certain starchy foods, such as potatoes, after they’ve been cooked AND cooled.

Starches add a filling heft to foods like root vegetables, squashes, grains, and pulses. Resistant starches also aid satiety and may act as a prebiotic (source of food) for our gut microbes as it makes its way through our intestines, fermenting as it goes.

If you’ve had “new vegan gas” switching to WFPB, this is likely a contributor!

But beyond that, resistant starch shows benefits for helping reduce cravings, and improving blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity! And as mentioned above, that could be great news for your blood vessels.

So what foods contain resistant starch? The best sources include: potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, rice, lentils and other legumes, and green bananas.

I love adding cold leftover cooked rice or potatoes to my winter buddha bowls! And overnight oats…

Grab this Blueberry Hemp Overnight Oats recipe to make this weekend!

And be sure to download this month’s heart-focused free recipes: Heart Beet WFPBNO February Bundle

blueberry oats

[Recipe Post] Cafe Brunch Smoothie Bowl

Sunday mornings are for smoothie bowl brunches!

This chocolate peanut butter one features fresh market raspberries and Hippie Mylk’s new oat milk from the Westboro farmers’ market! Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Cafe Brunch Smoothie Bowl”

Spirulina: Why it’s a Hot Topic in WFPB Food Talk & Why You’ll Want to Try it Too [Recipe Post]

It’s a rich dark green (or blue), it comes from the sea, and chances are you’ve seen it listed as a component in at least one food or beverage item at your favourite plant-based hotspot.

Spirulina is popular in whole-food plant-based diets, and not just because it’s fun to say. So why is it so prevalent in the discussion of nutritious staples to include in a balanced plant-powered lifestyle? Continue reading “Spirulina: Why it’s a Hot Topic in WFPB Food Talk & Why You’ll Want to Try it Too [Recipe Post]”

I’m Your Wild Girl! White Chocolate Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb Smoothie Bowl [Local Product Feature, Part 2]

This past summer I had the opportunity to sample some lovely locally-produced plant mylk. I loved playing and making new recipes with it.

[You can find one of those recipes here. [Local Product Feature, Part 1]

Hippie Mylk, which you can find at Ottawa farmers’ markets and now in select health food stores, most definitely also passes the smoothie test! It’s creamy, naturally just a little sweet, and high in protein and healthy fats (you know I’m all about those #healthyfatsftw). Continue reading “I’m Your Wild Girl! White Chocolate Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb Smoothie Bowl [Local Product Feature, Part 2]”

When You Haven’t Changed Anything… But Your Pants Don’t Fit

I’m no stranger to that struggle.

You’re positive that you’re not eating more food or “junkier” food but you’re still gaining weight. And you don’t think you just shrunk your clothes, are PMSing, or haven’t taken a good poop. How could this happen?

You’re not going crazy. You’re not alone. Continue reading “When You Haven’t Changed Anything… But Your Pants Don’t Fit”

Comfort Food Grows Up [Local Product Feature, Part 1]

I’ve written about comfort food before. So you likely know that I’m not opposed to including a handful of favourites in your meal repertoire for those rainy afternoons, those #selfcaresaturdays, those “just ‘cause” moments.

I get a warm nostalgic feeling when Continue reading “Comfort Food Grows Up [Local Product Feature, Part 1]”