Enjoy A Heart-Healthy Valentines Day
This Valentine’s Day show your heart some love! February is American Heart Month—a time to raise awareness about heart disease and what people can do to prevent it. When making your plans for Valentine’s Day, choose foods and activities that are good for your heart so you and your loved ones can reap the benefits.
Research restaurants before making reservations. A romantic dinner out with your sweetheart is a popular way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Be sure to look at the restaurant’s menu prior to making a reservation and find a few dishes that are both tasty and good for your heart. Look for nutrient-rich foods like leafy, green vegetables, whole grains or fatty fish (salmon, mackerel or tuna, for example).
Better yet, cook at home. If a crowded restaurant isn’t your scene, break out your cookbooks (or do an internet search) to find a heart-healthy meal to cook at home. By making small changes in your cooking, like choosing skinless poultry or fish, low-sodium foods and sauces and fat-free or low-fat dairy products, you can create a meal that’s good for your heart in no time.
Moderation is key. Enjoy a glass of wine or a flute of champagne, but don’t go overboard. The American Heart Association recommends no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men.
Dig into a heart-healthy dessert. There are many Valentine’s Day desserts that are heart-healthy! Berries are a top contender; find them in cobblers, parfaits or even just dipped in chocolate. When it comes to chocolate desserts, opt for dark chocolate as it contains more antioxidants and minerals and (usually) less sugar than milk or white chocolate.
Take an after-dinner stroll with your loved one. Get your heart rate up after dinner by taking a walk for 20-30 minutes. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week for adults. Take advantage of your time together and do something that will make you both feel great.