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Heart Healthy Valentine's Day Recipes

Posted by Melanie Laing

February 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM

You don't need a fancy restaurant, when you have romantic Valentine's Day recipes of your own, Valentine’s day chocolate is great for a quick, sweet pick-me-up but can you incorporate it into a heart-healthy Valentine’s day recipe?
 
Heart Healthy Valentine's Day Recipes

Heart Healthy Valentine's Day Recipes

Studies have been done on the connections between chocolate consumption and cardiovascular disease, the results are quite “sweet”. Publications released by Harvard Medical School show that adults who consume 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day, seem to have much lower rates of heart disease than those who shy away from the delicacy. Now, before you go ahead and start indulging, there are a few guidelines you should stick to:

Dark chocolate is where you find all the good stuff. Try to stick to 70% cacao or higher. Scientists aren't quite sure what it is about dark chocolate that boosts heart health, but it seems that it may be related to flavonoids. Flavonoids can be found in teas, red wines, blueberries, apples, pears, cherries and nuts. They are particularly abundant in cacao beans and that is where dark chocolate comes in! The flavonoids found in cacao beans have been shown to lower blood pressure, to prevent blood clots, fight cell damage and to improve the blood flow to the brain.


 

Heart-healthy Recipes

 

Here’s a quick, healthy smoothie recipe to start your day off just right: 

**this recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian

 

Time it takes: 5 minutescocolate-covered-strawberry.jpg

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt (plain or strawberry)
  • 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup ice only if using fresh berries

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and top with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired. Enjoy immediately!
   Image credit: Green Blender 

 

CoQ10, is found in every cell in the body. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce the energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which supports healthy cholesterol levels. CoQ10 is naturally found in higher levels in organ meats like liver, kidney, and heart. It can also be found in beef, sardines, and mackerel. Vegetarians or vegans who are used to eating these foods should find a suitable alternative. Luckily, vegetable sources of CoQ10 include spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.

 

 Here’s another heart-healthy Valentine’s day recipe:

**There are only a few key ingredients in this recipe, so it’s easy to swap vegetables depending on your preferences.

 

Heart Healthy Balsamic roasted broccoli salad with garlic

roasted-broccoli-salad-square1.jpg

Time it takes: 30 - 45 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

For tossing and marinating:

  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 baby carrots chopped into quarters
  • 1/4 cup peanuts chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Add just prior to baking:

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

 Image credit: savory tooth

 Instructions

  1. Using a large ziplock type bag, toss all of the marinade ingredients together. Give em' a shake and let all of the vegetables get coated and well-acquainted with all of the delicious flavors here. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer all of the bag’s contents into a baking dish. Spread out the ingredients so that the broccoli sits in a single layer. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake at 350 F until the broccoli is tender and starting to brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.

There you have it, two great heart healthy dishes that are perfect for Valentine’s Day and outrageously healthy for your heart.

A healthy heart is a great place to start, don't forget to get some exercise into your daily routine, eat lot's of colourful fruits, veggies and always save room for a little dark chocolate treat! If you enjoyed this article, you may want to take advantage of our current heart-healthy promotions here: https://www.yeswellness.com/promos/valentines-day-sale.html?limit=all

 


Resourses: http://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2015/05/20/heartjnl-2014-307050

Topics: Diet, Nutrition, heart health, Valentines day

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