Show Your Heart Some Love
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 overdoing it as most restaurants serve overly generous portions.
Think differently about protein. According to the American Heart Association, for ideal health you should eat fish twice a week. Salmon is an excellent choice because it’s low in saturated fat and high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, but if you’re not in the mood for fish, lean turkey is an excellent substitute for beef. When possible, consider a vegetarian entrée.
Beans, lentils and tofu are a great source of protein without all the fat and calories of meat.
Valentine’s Day would not be complete without chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, which have been found to lower the risk of heart disease and heart failure. Unfortunately, chocolate is also high in fat and calories, so pace yourself. Try sticking that box of chocolates in the freezer and eating it over the course of several weeks. An added benefit to your self control? You’ll still be enjoying that gift from your special someone long after the roses have wilted.
The easiest way to make smart choices for heart-healthy eating is to know exactly what ingredients go into your meal. Taking your date to a local cooking class will inspire you to try your own healthy recipes (and help you prepare a romantic, candlelit dinner this February 14). And of course, nothing makes your heart happier than exercise, so plan on taking a romantic walk after your meal.