February is American Heart Month. Valentine’s Day also falls directly in the middle of February. Coincidence? We think not. Sure, it’s fine to splurge every now and then, but there are ways to enjoy your Valentine’s Day while being good to your heart too. Here are some ideas:
1. Give your meals “the rainbow effect”
According to Washingtonian Magazine, a good way to keep your heart healthy is to pile your plate with a mix of colorful fruits and vegetables. So have some salmon – which is packed with omega 3 fatty acids that reduce risk of abnormal heart beats – and go crazy with colorful vegetables as a side, like purple carrots, red beets, turnips, and watermelon radishes.
2. It’s OKAY to eat chocolate – especially dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains phytochemicals, which “have many heart-protective effects.” Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants, which can lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, so it’s time to work it out. Walk to the market this weekend and you won’t have to stress about parking!
4. Eat fresh, earth-based foods
Try to avoid processed foods and instead go for the fresh, local foods that we have available at our market. The less chemicals, the better. Many of our vendors are certified organic and are happy to provide you with natural wholesome food all year!
5. Relax and enjoy yourself
Life is not a sprint — it’s a marathon. High stress is associated with a higher risk of heart disease. So be good to yourself — slow down and smell the roses. It sounds cliché, but it’s really important to just chill out sometimes.
Can you tell us what you do to keep your heart healthy? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or just leave a comment here. If you NEED to indulge on chocolate on Valentine’s day – make sure it’s at least dark chocolate! And try to go for a run first. Your body and your heart will thank you later.