How to Have a Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day

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The food of focus for Valentine’s always seems to be chocolate, but why not change it up by focusing on other foods with added health benefits?

 Since February is also heart health month, try fitting some RED foods with heart benefits into your day. These foods are packed with cardio-protective nutrients such as lycopene (decreases the risk of heart disease), vitamin C (reduces inflammation), potassium (aids in blood pressure control), folate (improves arterial elasticity), fiber (helps lower LDL-cholesterol), and other valuable phytonutrients:

  • Tomatoes: lycopene, vitamin C
  • Red Bell Peppers: Vitamin C
  • Strawberries: folate, Vitamin C
  • Cherries: fiber, Vitamin C, potassium
  • Red beans: fiber, potassium
  • Cranberries: Vitamin C, proanthocyanidins (antioxidant)

Remember, Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be centered around food.  Having a meal only takes up a portion of the day, so here are some ideas for heart healthy activities to help create a memorable Valentine’s:

  • Go dancing or take a dance lesson
  • Take a walk or bike ride at sunset
  • Do some sight-seeing around town
  • Go ice skating
  • Try something new: rock-wall climbing, yoga, trampoline park, a local cooking class

- Katrina Waters, CHC Intern & Brittany Chin, RD,LD, CTTS