Incorporating enough greens into our diets is crucial for heart health, yet many of us struggle with this. Whether it’s personal preference or catering to picky eaters at home, finding creative ways to include more vegetables is essential. 

According to Harvard Health, “fruits and vegetables play an important role in heart health because they contain antioxidants that can help prevent injuries to the arteries. Aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables — fresh, canned, or frozen. 

  • Aim to get as many colors of vegetables as possible into your daily diet. Choose tomatoes, peppers, edamame, beets, and carrots. 
  • Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and bok choy are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Leafy greens are rich in nitrates, which help to relax and widen blood vessels. Research has found that people who ate the most nitrate-rich vegetables (especially leafy greens) lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease by 12% to 26%. 
  • Opt for canned vegetables that are low in sodium. 
  • Look for frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces.” 

Creative Ways to Include More Vegetables into Your Diet 


By adding mixed greens or spinach to your smoothies, you are getting all the flavonoids and antioxidants that support your immune system without having to eat a big salad. 


Try blending spinach with pasta sauce. 

Redefining Salads 

You can make your own rules on what a salad is! A salad doesn’t have to be all raw, leafy greens. Something I’ve been obsessed with lately is marinating heart-healthy beets in balsamic. Boil them in water, dice them into smallish squares and put them in a jar with balsamic vinaigrette. You can use a bit of sugar if you’d like. Try mixing the final product with toasted walnuts and goat cheese. You can put a small bed of arugula underneath if you’d like. If you warm the beets before adding them to the arugula, the arugula will wilt a bit and is sometimes tastier like that than eating it raw. 

Green Juice! 

Green juice doesn’t have to be expensive, and you don’t need a juicer. All you need is a basic blender and kitchen strainer. Try adding celery, lemon, apple and cilantro into your blender with water and straining for a delicious green juice. Cilantro, parsley and un-packaged spinach tend to be on the less expensive side and you should juice the stems too for more nutrients with a budget in mind. 


Blended soups are a great way to sneak veggies in, too. Something I’d been loving lately is butternut squash curry soup, but I add zucchini, onions and tomatoes, too. I dice the butternut squash up and roast in on a sheet pan on parchment paper with a bit of olive oil, salt, rosemary, pepper, garlic, ginger and curry powder. Once it’s done, I blend the veggies in a blender (no…you don’t need an expensive immersion blender!) with a can of coconut milk and veggie broth.  

Egg & Veggie Bake

If you’re used to having eggs in the morning, but don’t have time to cook veggies with it everyday, or are less prone to eating them when they’re on the side 

Avocado Chia pudding or Ice Cream  

To make avocado ice cream, blend avocado with some cashews, banana, and a milk of your choosing. Stick in the freezer and pull it out when you have a sweet tooth!  

To made avocado pudding, mash avocado and add chia seeds and whatever milk of your choosing. Let it sit overnight in the fridge and top with honey, fruit, nuts, granola or any other healthy topping of your choosing. 


Herbs are a delicious way to get extra greens. One recipe I’ve been making lately is chopped tomato, lemon juice, cucumber and parsley dill, mint, salt and pepper. I serve it with hummus, crackers and a protein of my choice.  


You can make dressing that don’t have to go on leafy green salads. For a creamy (with no cream!) green goddess dressing use olive oil, avocado, cashews, garlic/shallows, whatever herbs are in your fridge, lemon juice water and blend in a blender. 

A Message from TMC

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. People at a higher risk are those with, diabetes, are overweight/obese, have an unhealthy diet, don’t excursive enough or who drink too much alcohol. By eating more leafy greens and taking better care of your nutrition intake, you will work to eliminate some of these risk factors.  

At TMC, we’re dedicated to supporting your heart health journey. Call us at 970-728-3848 to schedule a visit for heart health screenings and receive an individualized heart health plan.