Roses are red, violets are blue, this February 14th, give a gift to YOU! This Valentine’s Day, celebrate with a meal or snack that your heart will thank you for. Here are a few recipes that include some great sources of unsaturated fats which can lower your risk of cardiovascular events, risk of diabetes, and lower cholesterol levels. Good sources of unsaturated fats include avocados, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and olive oil. Your heart will also thank you for including more fruits, vegetables, beans, and any other great sources of fiber.
Here’s a few of our favorite recipes:
And for a complete meal, remember that Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate or dessert. Dark chocolate specifically, can be rich in flavanols. According to the Cleveland Clinic, flavanols can aid in lowering blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and act as antioxidants to decrease risk of chronic disease. However, there is no specific amount recommended to reap these benefits. Chocolate that has been processed, like milk chocolate, have less flavanols than a chocolate with 75% or more cocoa. What does all this mean? Enjoy dark chocolate if you enjoy dark chocolate and you may reap some benefit. Enjoy milk chocolate if you enjoy milk chocolate and yes, there are likely less flavanols in there. Enjoy a different dessert entirely if that’s what you enjoy.
It is easy to get caught up in the tons of nutrition information out there, and become very black or white; “if I have chocolate I can only have the “healthy” dark chocolate”. In reality, it’s most important that you listen to your body and enjoy all things in moderation. Yes; some foods boast “more benefits” than others, and that’s ok, your body can handle a varied diet. Do yourself a favor this Valentine’s Day , and don’t forget to love yourself and the food you eat.
Here are a few dessert recipes that I love – some have the benefits of dark chocolate and some don’t – but all are delicious: