Valentine’s Day is all about flowers, chocolate and love, but the entire of month of February is devoted to the heart. Show yourself and those you care about some love by being smart about what you put in the grocery cart. Fruits and vegetables have a significant role to play in keeping hearts healthy every single day.
PRODUCE FOR HEART HEALTH
The DASH diet- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension has produce as it’s foundation recommending 4-5 servings of fruits AND veggies daily. The TLC- Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Diet recommends 4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables daily.
PRODUCE PROVIDES THE PREVENTION AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE TREATMENT
- The fiber in fruits and vegetables, especially the flesh or soluble fiber can help to lower triglycerides (blood fat) and cholesterol. Beans, potatoes, apples, pears and citrus fruits are top-notch.
- The Phyto or plant nutrients such as flavonoids, quercetin, and resveratrol can help keep arteries healthy- think berries, pomegranates, tomatoes, soybeans, carrots and red grapes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts, onions and garlic.
- The monounsaturated fat in avocados may help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol.
- Vitamin K in Dark green leafy vegetables and soybeans can help with blood clotting.
- The potassium in all fruits and vegetables can help to lower blood pressure.
So make #haveaplant part of the romance all month long. Here are a few ideas to tempt your taste buds:
- Berries in cereal or oatmeal
- A Breakfast burrito with spinach, onions, salsa and eggs
- A citrus, banana, pineapple smoothie
- Pasta salad with cannellini beans, red onion, shredded carrots and broccoli with Vinaigrette
- A kale and spinach salad with pomegranate arils, clementine segments, edamame, and almonds
- Lentil soup with added mushrooms, canned tomatoes and escarole
- Strawberries with a vanilla Greek yogurt/cocoa dip
- A trail mix of prunes, walnuts and whole grain cereal
- Hummus or other bean dip with raw veggie dippers or veggie-based chips: beets, carrots
- A radicchio, endive, fennel salad with goat cheese grapefruit salad
- Crispy roasted vegetables: Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli with garlic, Harissa and olive oil
- Roasted multicolored potatoes with sesame seeds, Tamari, Five spice seasoning
- Grilled pineapple with red pepper jelly
- Baked apple with currants, baked in pomegranate juice
- An orange half-filled with citrus sorbet and topped with orange slices marinated in Grand Marnier
Time to shout, eat your heart out- fruits and veggies every day in every way to help you create a #healthyselfie with the foods on your #shelfie! #haveaplant