It beats faster when the one you love enters the room. It beats a tattoo against your ribs as you push through the last mile of your run. Its steady rhythm is what keeps you alive. Your heart does so much for you, this Valentine’s Day consider what you might do to keep it healthy and strong.
Spice things up when cooking at home with fresh hot peppers or fresh herbs instead of using prepackaged mixes which often contain a high amount of salt. If you go out to eat, sharing an entree can help prevent you from over doing it as most restaurants serve overly generous portions. Consider having fish as the entree. According to the American Heart Association, for ideal health you should eat fish twice a week. Salmon is an excellent choice as it is low in saturated fat and high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. If you are not in the mood for fish, turkey is good substitute for beef as it is leaner.
Valentine’s Day would not be complete without chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, which have been found to lower the risks of heart disease and heart failure. Unfortunately, chocolate is also high in fat and calories. To help keep the pounds off pace yourself, stick that box of chocolates in the refrigerator or the freezer and eat over the course of several weeks. An added benefit to your self control is you will still be enjoying the gift from your special someone days after the roses have wilted.
Opting for a dessert with berries, such as blueberries or strawberries, can have the added benefit of lowering the risk of heart attack in women. Nothing keeps you healthy and strong like exercise. Plan on taking a romantic walk after your meal.
The easiest way to make smart choices for heart healthy eating is to know exactly what ingredients go into your meal. Taking a date to a local cooking class can help you sharpen your skills and boost your confidence to take on the challenge of preparing a romantic, candlelit dinner this February 14th.
Published in Contentment magazine | Issue 14 – January/February 2015