Did you think we were going to give you recipes for cupcakes and heart shaped cookies? Sorry. But if you’re truly interested in doing something good for your sweetie this Valentine’s day, try fixing them something containing one of these five heart healthy ingredients.
They’re great dipped in chocolate or in pancakes served a la bedside. Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are all heavy in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Try adding them into a midday smoothie or a complex carb breakfast, like the Teff Porridge we whipped up awhile back. It’s stick to your ribs good and will give you plenty of energy to…you know.
Please don’t give us that sad song about avocados being high in fat. It’s good fat and we all need some of it. Unlike fried chicken or french fries, avocados are rich in monounsaturates which help to raise HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering the bad kind, LDL’s. Try making a lower calorie version of guacamole by substituting half of an avocado for green peas. They’re rich in fiber and you’ll still get the benefits from the avocado.
We’ve talked about flax seeds before, so you know they’re amazing. Like avocado, they lower LDL’s and give a bit of a protein punch. Sprinkle a little in your Valentine’s Day cookies to boost the nutrient factor.
Spinach is not exactly sexy when it gets stuck in your teeth but what it does for your body is hot! It has folate, potassium, and fiber – three must haves for a healthy heart. Studies have also shown that eating at least two and a half cups of vegetables (the fresher the better) can lower your risk of heart disease by 25 percent. All the more reason to chow down on the green stuff this Sunday.
Cherries are sexy! They’re also good for your heart, thanks to their anthocyanins which are said to protect blood vessels. We like taking frozen ones (no sugar added) and heating them on a low flame until they are syrupy and sweet. Coupled with some vanilla almond ice cream and a pinch of cacao chips, it makes a Valentine worthy sundae.