I am not a health professional. For healthcare and dietary needs speak with your licensed care provider. This post is meant to promote heart healthy decisions not to give medical advice.
It only makes sense that February is Heart Health Month. As everyone focuses showing love for Valentines, it’s a great reminder looking at all those hearts to take care of our own hearts. Enjoy these heart healthy recipes, and do something good for you this month – and the next.
Heart disease is the number 1 killer of both men and women here in the United States. Claiming approximately 1 million lives annually according to The Heart Foundation.
In my research for what makes a food heart healthy, I found it doesn’t take much to care for our beating organ. A few berries here, toss some flaxseed in there, munch on some nuts, and even a bit of chocolate can do good for your heart.
Heart Healthy Recipes
There’s nothing better than starting our day on a positive note. Wake up and take care of your heart first thing with these heart healthy smoothie recipes. This Nutty Flax and Berry Smoothie from Parsnips and Pastries is a powerhouse drink for your heart. For a quick and easy morning smoothie, you may go with this Easy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Smoothie. The oatmeal and apple work to promote good heart health. This Dark Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie from Jessica Levinson, however, is truly calling my name. Who knew dark chocolate is actually good for your heart.
Some other great heart healthy breakfast ideas are these:
Heart Healthy Overnight Oats from The Harvest Kitchen
Healthier Cinnamon Rolls from Crazy for Crust
Hearty Muffin Recipe with Walnuts, Oats and Applesauce from Dine and Dish
Breakfast Banana Split from Art From My Table
Cherry Broiled Grapefruit from Home Maid Simple
For dinner try this Walnut Crusted Pork Loin with Apple Cherry Maple Reduction which brings a good portion of walnuts containing omega-3’s and helping lower your bad cholesterol. The apples and cherry do the same, making this a fantastic heart healthy recipe.
If pork isn’t your favorite, you can still get the benefits of walnuts and fresh fruit from recipes like Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad from Creme de la Crumb and Waldorf Salad from Cincy Shopper. Or enjoy a good salad without the nuts, but full of all things to help lower blood pressure like this Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad from Peas and Crayons
Last year when I went in for my annual check-up, I was told my good cholesterol was a bit low. The solution was to eat more fish and exercise more. I immediately pulled up this recipe for Glazed Brown Sugar Salmon. Salmon along with tuna, trout, mackerel, and herring are also high in omega-3’s. I’m happy to report that as of my most recent appointment, that good cholesterol is showing a nice number.
Finally, we can’t forget about dessert. Just because we’re caring for our heart, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy delicious desserts. As mentioned earlier, dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. That makes these Chocolate Berry Cups from Certified Pastry Aficionado the perfect non-guilty indulgence. To get the benefits of nuts and chocolate I would suggest the Almond Milk Popsicles from The Harvest Kitchen.
How are you taking care of your heart? It’s time to show yourself some love.