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A Tasty Meal For A Heart-Healthy Summer

By Family Features

May 24, 2023

As you plan your summer fun, think also about adopting healthy habits that can help keep your Blood Pressure under control. When your Blood Pressure is consistently high - it is a condition called Hypertension - blood flows through Arteries at higher-than-normal pressures. This can cause serious health problems not just for your Heart, but also for your Blood Vessels, Kidneys, Eyes and Brain.

Hypertension affects women and men of all ages but making small lifestyle changes can go a long way toward prevention. Start with updating your summer menu with delicious, heart-healthy recipes, like Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken.

Following a Heart-Healthy eating plan, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), which emphasizes Vegetables, Fruits, Whole Grains, Fish, Poultry, Beans, Nuts, Low-Fat Dairy and Healthy Oils, can help keep your Blood Pressure in a healthy range. Developed through research by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), DASH focuses on reducing Sodium and limiting foods that are high in Saturated Fat, including Fatty Meats, Full-Fat Dairy and Tropical Oils.

Along with adding healthy recipes to your summer menu, NHLBI's The Heart Truth Program encourages these healthy habits that can help you control Blood Pressure:

Move more: Aim for at least 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) of physical activity each week. Try keeping yourself on pace each week by shooting for 30 daily minutes of activity over five days.

Aim for a healthy weight: Research shows overweight adults and Obesity can lower their Blood Pressure by losing just 3-5% of their weight. Ask a friend or family member to join a weight loss program with you; social support can help you both stay motivated.

Manage Stress: Reduce Stress - which can increase Blood Pressure - with meditation, relaxing activities or support from a counselor or online group.

Quit smoking: Smoking damages your Heart and Blood Vessels. Call: 1 (800) QUIT-NOW - 1 (800) 784-8669 or find other resources available online.

Get your summer off to a Heart-Healthy start by talking to your Healthcare Provider about your Blood Pressure numbers and what they mean. To learn more about Heart Health and Blood Pressure, visit: - Find DASH-friendly recipes at:

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken
Recipe courtesy of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

• 2 Tablespoons of Ketchup
• 2 Tablespoons of Light Soy Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons of Honey
• 2 Teaspoons of Orange Juice
• 1 Teaspoon of Garlic (about 1 clove), minced
• 1 Teaspoon of Ginger, minced
• 12 Ounces of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast (about 2 large breasts), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 24 cubes)
• 1 Cup of Fresh Pineapple, diced (about 24 pieces)
• 8 Wooden skewers (6 inches each), soaked in water

To make the sauce: Combine the Ketchup, the Soy Sauce, the Honey, the Orange Juice, the Garlic and the Ginger; mix them well. Separate them into two bowls and set them aside.

Preheat the grill to Medium-High Heat. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.

Alternately, thread three Chicken Cubes and three Pineapple Chunks on each skewer.

Grill the skewers for 3-5 minutes on each side. Brush or spoon the sauce from one bowl onto the Chicken and the Pineapple every other minute. Discard the remaining sauce from the first bowl.

To prevent the Chicken from drying out, finish cooking it to a minimum internal temperature of 165˚ F in the oven. Using a clean brush or spoon, coat with sauce from the remaining bowl before serving it.

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