As we enter the month of February, decorative hearts and cupids occupy neighborhood storefronts. Decadent boxes of chocolates and candies inscribed with “LUV” and “Be Mine” tantalize in the aisles of the grocery store. But before you reach for a few truffles, read this cardiovascular wellness post during American Heart Month.
According to the CDC, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Though genetics can play a role, there are several ways that you can thwart your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. One way is through diet. A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans and nuts is essential to maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle. Within a heart healthy diet, The American Heart Association recommends including dark leafy greens daily. Kale, collard greens and varieties like our own Watercress and Baby Romaine are packed with nutrients and minerals. “[Green veggies] are high in carotenoids, which act as antioxidants and free your body of potentially harmful compounds. They’re also high in fiber and contain tons of vitamins and minerals,” says health.com.
Need a few weeknight #hearthealthy dinner ideas? We’ve got you covered!
Food52’s Sardine, Avocado and Radish Salad with Upland Cress – This recipe is covered head-to-toe in hearty nutritional goodness. Sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which, research has shown, can decrease risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats). Rich in the monounsaturated fats, avocadoes may lower heart disease risk factors. To round out the dish, cruciferous veggies upland cress and radishes pack a punch with cancer-fighting properties.
Whole Food’s Watercress Salad with Pears and Pomegranates – “Pomegranates contains numerous antioxidants, including heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins which may help stave off hardening of the arteries,” reports health.com. Additionally, the luminous fruit and peppery watercress both possess an ample amount of vitamin c.
Brown Sugar’s Romaine Lettuce Chicken Salad Wraps – Romaine lettuce is a versatile green. With more more vitamin A than a carrot, the hearty lettuce makes an excellent stand in for a wrap or sandwich bread in this recipe. In this rendition of chicken salad, Brown Sugar includes walnuts. In a 2011 study, findings suggested that walnuts may be the top nut for heart health. What are you waiting for? Get crackin’!
For more heart healthy recipe ideas, check out our latest Pinterest board.