Love is in the air, and pink and red decorative hearts have once again found their way into America’s windows. February also happens to be National Heart Month! But, in our opinion, healthy hearts should be celebrated every day. After all, your loved ones would appreciate you taking care of your heart all year round, wouldn’t they? Here are some ways you can celebrate a heart-healthy Valentine’s Day:
Instead of going out to a restaurant this Valentine’s Day, why not cook a meal together? It’s a great way to spend some quality time, plus you’ll know exactly what’s going into your meal, and you won’t have to worry about consuming ingredients that are bad for your health. Ingredients like dark, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds are all high-nutrient foods that will do your body good. If you need some cooking inspiration, check out some of our favorite recipes: black bean and mushroom burger, roasted red pepper and tomato soup, black bean and yam quesadillas, zesty chicken with steamed kale, cairo garbanzo and vegetable stew.
Enjoy “nature’s candy.”
Instead of filling up on the processed, sugary junk advertised for the holiday, opt for nature’s candy instead: fruit! Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, fruits are are a nutrient-dense way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Berries are especially heart-healthy, and they taste amazing too! Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (to name a few) are filled with heart-healthy fiber and antioxidants. They also contain compounds that widen the arteries, which helps blood flow smoothly and may “prevent plaque buildup,” lowering your risk of heart attack.
Take a romantic stroll.
It’s good to get your heart pumping, and a nice walk with your loved one is a perfect way to spend time together while keeping your heart healthy. Physical activity also releases endorphins, so you might even heighten the already-happy mood while making your body healthier overall.
Don’t forget the chocolate.
….like you could. It’s everywhere this time of year! But you don’t have to buy the heart-shaped variety pack chocolates. Instead, try making your own chocolatey dessert! Here are some of our favorites: chocolate mousse, chocolate cheesecake, nutty truffles, chocolate dip (with some heart-healthy berries!).
Have a very happy, healthy Valentine’s Day!
What healthy choices are you making this Valentine’s Day? Share with us in the comments below!