The DASH diet is the healthiest way to eat, according to the American Heart Association.
Dietitian Danielle Smith gave Insider five of her favorite breakfast recipes for the DASH diet.
These recipes are low in salt and full of whole foods to reduce blood pressure.
A dietitian who specializes in the DASH diet, which has been ranked as healthier than the popular Mediterranean diet by experts, has shared her favorite breakfasts.
The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension, is a good option for a generally health diet but was originally designed to combat hypertension, or high blood pressure, by encouraging lower levels of salt, saturated fats, and added sugar in food, as well as limiting red meat and alcohol. It emphasizes whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grain products, and nuts, as well as low-fat dairy, and skinless poultry and fish.
The diet topped the American Heart Association’s list of healthy diets earlier this year, above the Mediterranean diet, which is often said to be the healthiest way to eat. This is because the DASH diet focuses on reducing salt and also keeps alcohol consumption to a minimum, whereas the Mediterranean diet allows moderate alcohol consumption.
Danielle Smith, a registered dietitian working with the dietitian network Top Nutrition Coaching, shared her five favorite DASH breakfasts that she recommends to clients.
Wild blueberry and avocado protein smoothie
This wild blueberry and avocado protein smoothie recipe combines a milk of your choice, vanilla protein powder, avocado, wild blueberries (frozen is fine), and water. Just blend all the ingredients together and enjoy.
Smith said: “This antioxidant-rich smoothie makes it incredibly easy to start your day off well. To boost the nutrient density even more, feel free to add in a handful of spinach or other dark-leafy green.”
She said that wild blueberries are a “powerhouse fruit” for the DASHdiet because they contain more antioxidants than ordinary blueberries, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of high blood pressure.
Protein overnight oats
Smith said that this protein overnight oats recipe makes for an easy, filling, grab-and-go option because you make it the night before. Mix up rolled oats, a milk of your choice, protein powder, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and vanilla extract, and honey for some sweetness.
You can also vary the flavor with different toppings and ingredients. Try adding chocolate protein powder and chocolate chips for a chocolatey hit in the morning, or vanilla protein powder and fresh blueberries for a blueberry cheesecake flavor.
Egg muffin cups
This egg muffin cup recipe can be customized however you like, and Smith said they are an easy way to get veggies into the first meal of the day. To make a balanced meal, pair with a sprouted or whole grain english muffin or fruit, she said.
The eggs provide protein, while the pepper, onion, mushrooms, and spinach contain fiber and nutrients, such as iron and vitamin C from the spinach.
Quick yogurt parfait
For a super quick yogurt parfait, mix yogurt, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and honey in a bowl and top with berries and high fiber cereal or granola.
The berries and cereal or granola in this recipe contain fiber, which Erica Ingraham, a registered dietitian, previously told Insider may “help lower blood pressure and inflammatory markers in some individuals, contributing to a healthy heart.”
Whether you smash or slice your avocado, this breakfast is a millennial brunch classic. Smith said avocados are one of her favorite foods. They contain potassium and monounsaturated fats, which are both associated with lowering blood pressure.
She said: “Avocados are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help support heart health because it is linked to improved cholesterol levels and can contribute to better blood pressure management.”
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