36ºF

Recipes for American Heart Month

Love is in the air.

It’s February and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. The day will be filled for some with red roses, expensive dinner reservations and decadent chocolates.

February also marks American Heart Month and is a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle making small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health. The heart image that represents this holiday not only symbolizes love, but also serves as a reminder of how important it is to keep ourselves and those we love protected against heart disease.

This holiday do something different. Make a romantic meal for that special someone using these heart-healthy foods and recipes.

  • Make their heart “beet.” Sodium is known for increasing blood pressure but potassium actually helps reduce those effects. So instead of showing your love through just any baked good, whip up a batch of these chocolate beet cupcakes. Not only do the beets add a perfect pop of color, they supply additional 200 mg potassium in a sweet way.
  • 2.       Go nuts over them! Nuts, such as almonds, pistachios and macadamia nuts contain fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Each of these nutrients has heart-healthy benefits: Fiber has cholesterol-lowering effects, and omega-3 will reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat. Try these pistachio crusted tuna steaks for a memorable Valentine’s Day dinner.

     

    3.       Are they your cup of tea? A 2012 study showed that black and green tea may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 10 to20 percent. Other research has suggested that the antioxidants in green tea work to lower cholesterol and may prevent cardiovascular disease, and black tea may reduce triglycerides and blood pressure. Share a cup of tangy cranberry tea with your love this holiday. 

     

    4.       Foe or AVOCADO? Make sure you pick this beautiful green fruit (yes, it’s technically a single-seeded berry), because it is virtually the only fruit that contains a type of fat known as monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats can improve your total and LDL (otherwise known as “bad cholesterol”) levels and reduce your chance of heart disease and stroke. Try a new twist on guacamole, add fresh slices to a sandwich or whip up a batch of key lime mousse for dessert.

     

    5.       Love is Red. Red is everywhere this month symbolizing romance and love. But this year, skip the red flowers and balloons, and really touch your beloved’s heart with… pomegranates!  Pomegranates are filled with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce blood clotting, cholesterol and blood pressure. Sprinkle these treats on a spinach and pomegranate salad, made especially for your love.

    While February is the perfect time to start thinking about heart health, you can incorporate these foods yummy foods all year long.

    Recipe Links

    http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/253010/chocolate-beet-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

    http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252204/pistachio-crusted-tuna-steaks

    http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tangy-cranberry-tea

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/127167/spinach-pomegranate-salad/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringId=1111&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=cardslot%204

    http://www.foodandnutrition.org/May-June-2015/Key-Lime-Mousse/