Your Dietitian’s Top 5 Heart Health Items
Valentine’s Day often comes to mind when we think of February, but did you know that it’s also American Heart Month? February is dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease and encouraging long-term lifestyle changes to keep our hearts beating strong. About 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to heart disease. So let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day plus the other 27 days of the month by showing this vital organ some extra love. Take note of these shopping tips.
You Guac My World: Spread a little love (and avocado) this holiday. Adding avocado or avocado oil to a sandwich, salad or sauté pan will increase the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fats, avocados can help lower the “bad” cholesterol while raising the “good.”
- Product recommendation: Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil (high heat)
- Be O-‘Fish’-ally Mine! A seafood dinner for two may be the perfect recipe for good health. Whether you decide to dine out or cook in on Valentine’s Day, incorporating fish will help you reap the omega-3 health benefits. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and tuna are great choices. Including these swimmers twice a week may decrease triglycerides and aid with blood pressure control.
I’m Totally Nuts About You: Snack on a handful of nuts. Studies have shown that eating walnuts, which are rich in heart-protecting monounsaturated fats, can help lower blood cholesterol. The same is true of other tree nuts, such as almonds, pistachios and macadamia nuts.
- Product recommendation: Hy-Vee Walnuts Halves & Pieces
I Like You a Choco-Lot!: Share some chocolate with your sweetie this month, but more specifically the darker varieties. The health benefits found in dark chocolate are largely attributed to their antioxidants known as flavonoids. Studies have shown that enjoying 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure. Indulge in moderation to sweeten the heart-health benefits.
- Product recommendation: Hu Salty Dark Chocolate Bar
Get heart-health red-y with this easy, no-bake recipe.
All you need:
- 2 avocados, ripe, seeded, peeled
- ½ cup Navitas Organic cacao powder
- ½ cup Madhava agave nectar
- ½ cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp Full Circle organic pure vanilla extract
- Chopped pistachios, if desired
All you do:
- Place avocados, cacao, agave nectar, almond milk and vanilla in a blender.
- Cover and blend until smooth.
- Divide mixture among four dessert dishes.
- Garnish with pistachios, if desired.
Just in time for American Heart Month is our complimentary nutrition tour, all focused on heart health. Register here and join us virtually from the comfort of your own home. Relax, and learn all at the same time!
*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.