Love Your Heart: A Valentine's Month Guide to Heart-Healthy Foods
As February unfolds and love fills the air in celebration of Valentine's Day, why not extend that love to your heart? The connection between the heart and emotions is undeniable, making it the perfect month to focus on heart-healthy foods that not only contribute to your physical well-being but also resonate with the spirit of love and care. In this blog, we'll explore a delightful array of heart-healthy foods to integrate into your diet, fostering both physical and emotional well-being.
The Heart's Nutritional Anthem
Start your heart-healthy journey with a symphony of nutrient-rich foods that form the foundation of cardiovascular health.
- Berries are a berry good choice for your heart health. Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. They not only enhance heart health but also add a burst of color and sweetness to your meals. You can peep some berries in our Sambazon Bowl, our Fat Burner smoothie, and our Lavender smoothie.
- Oats are fuel for your heart. Incorporate whole grains like oats into your diet. Oats are rich in beta-glucans, which help lower cholesterol levels. Enjoy a hearty bowl of oatmeal topped with berries for a wholesome and heart-pleasing breakfast. Load yourself up with our Chai Oatmeal for a delicious concoction of steel cut oats, chia seeds, chai and hemp milk topped with fruit, almonds, and real maple syrup.
- Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. These heart-boosting foods can be sprinkled over salads, yogurt, or enjoyed as a snack.
Love on a Plate – Heart-Healthy Meals
Crafting heart-healthy meals doesn't mean sacrificing flavor. Let's explore delicious and nutritious recipes that will make your heart sing.
- Salmon with Lemon and Dill: Salmon is a star in the world of heart-healthy proteins. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it supports heart health and reduces inflammation. Baked or grilled, a salmon dish with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of dill is not only good for your heart but also a delightful culinary experience.
- Ancient Grains: Quinoa is a complete protein and a great alternative to refined grains. Combine it with heart-healthy avocados or protein-packed chickpeas for a satisfying and nutritious salad. The monounsaturated fats in avocados contribute to lower bad cholesterol levels. Our Grains & Greens Savory Bowl is loaded with ancient grains, kale, spinach, arugula, caramelized onion & gourmet mushrooms topped with a turmeric tahini sauce, organic egg and pepitas! So much yum in that bowl!
- Mediterranean Diet: A Mediterranean diet is renowned for its heart benefits. And, it's jam-packed with delicious ingredients. Guess what? The Greek Freak is the perfect Mediterranean dish that's filled with Mediterranean chicken, garbanzo, cucumber, heirloom tomato, snap peas, marinated artichoke, Kalamata olives, market hummus and feta over rice. Are you drooling yet? The combination of antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats makes it a heart-loving dish. Not to mention, all our ingredients are fresh, organic, and local! What's not to love?
Sweets for the Heart
Indulge your sweet tooth without compromising your heart health. Let's explore sweet treats that are not only delicious but also heart-friendly.
- Dark chocolate, in moderation, is a heart-healthy choice. It contains flavonoids that may improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. Choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa for maximum benefits.
- Berry Parfait: Layered with yogurt, berries, and a sprinkle of granola, a berry parfait is not only visually appealing but also a heart-conscious dessert. Yogurt provides probiotics that support gut health, indirectly benefiting heart health.
Drinks that Make Your Heart Soar
Not only is it important to be conscious of what goes on your plate, it's just as important to be aware of what's in your cup!
- Sounds like a silly thing to put into a drink, but beets are like the superheroes of heart-healthy foods, rocking a nutritional cape that makes your ticker do a happy dance! Packed with fiber, potassium, and a dose of vitamin C, these vibrant root veggies are on a mission to keep your cardiovascular system in top-notch shape. Picture this: fiber swoops in to tackle cholesterol levels, potassium throws a party to regulate blood pressure, and the nitrates bring a flow of good vibes for better blood circulation. Try our Beet Lavender Latte with fresh beet juice, lavender, cardamon, coconut milk, finished with a dash of love for a warm, heart-healthy kickstart to your day.
- Wanting something a bit more festive to drink for Valentine's Day? Come on in and try any our Pink Lady, Red Haven, or Lavender smoothies for a gorgeous Love Day color that will also leave your tummy singing a joyful song.
- Get ready to turn your celery game into a party for your arteries! Celery juice comes packed with these cool compounds called phthalides, which are like the chill DJs at a blood flow party – they kick back and relax those artery walls, making way for a smooth groove of increased blood flow and lowered blood pressure. It's the celery magic, folks! Just four stalks a day (or the juicy equivalent) and your blood pressure is ready to drop it low. Give it a go with any of our made to order fresh juices:
- Bright Eyes: pineapple, orange, golden beet, celery, spinach, kale, mint
- Fruit & Veggie Blend: carrot, cucumber, beet, apple, orange, lemon
- Green Goddess: apple, cucumber, celery, spinach, lemon
- Fuel: beet, celery, apple, coconut water, red turmeric, lime
- Cure: apple, celery, lemon, parsley, ginger, honey, cinnamon (and add cayenne for an extra flavor punch and a small fee!)
Beyond the physical aspect, nourishing your heart emotionally is equally important. Consider these practices to promote emotional well-being during "love month."
- Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to each bite. Engage your senses and appreciate the flavors, textures, and aromas of your food. This not only enhances your dining experience but also fosters a positive relationship with food.
- Cooking Together: Share the joy of cooking heart-healthy meals with your loved ones. Cooking together creates a sense of togetherness and strengthens emotional bonds. It's an opportunity to create lasting memories while prioritizing your heart health.
- Express Gratitude: Take a moment each day to express gratitude. Whether it's for the nourishing food on your plate, the supportive relationships in your life, or the simple joys, practicing gratitude contributes to emotional well-being, positively impacting your heart health.
This February, let love extend beyond romantic gestures and into the realm of self-care. By embracing heart-healthy foods and practices, you not only prioritize your physical health but also nurture your emotional well-being. Remember, taking care of your heart is a celebration of love that lasts all month long. So, indulge in the delicious symphony of heart-healthy foods and cherish the moments that make your heart beat with joy. Cheers to a loving and healthy February!