February 14th is almost upon us and research suggests that the stuff of Valentine’s Day can be good for you in more ways than one.
Avocados, shellfish, oily fish, dark chocolate, red wine, fruit cocktails and expressions of love can all contribute to a keeping a healthy, happy heart whilst dazzling the love of your life.
Get off to a great start with some pre-dinner nibbles of almonds, pistachios and roasted pumpkin seeds, full of vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy fats and fibre.
Avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as fibre and omega 3, all of which promote healthy cholesterol levels and heart health. What’s more, just half an avocado counts as one of your five-a-day so enjoy them on their own, mash them into a dip with some lime juice, or accompany them with some shellfish and a dash of paprika for a tasty starter.
Splash out on some fresh tuna steak, rich in heart-friendly omega-3 fats, pan fry in a little olive oil and dress with lemon juice and fresh dill or tarragon.
Serve up some ‘jewelled’ couscous or boiled rice mixed with cranberries, chopped dried apricots and pine nuts for a bright, tangy side dish.
Finish with a zing - turn frozen berries into a mouth-watering, velvety sauce to drizzle over yoghurt, crème fraîche or lemon sorbet.
Add some sparkle to your evening by having fizzy water with slices of lemon and orange at hand; alternate with a glass of elegant red wine, a good source of antioxidants; keep your wine glasses small to make the bottle last longer.
Cocoa contains antioxidants and chocolate made from 70% or more cocoa will contain less saturated fat and sugar, making it a more heart-wise choice. According to the British Retail Consortium (2005), around £384 million is spent on chocolate each year for Valentine’s Day. Spend it on dark chocolate and invest it your sweetheart’s health.
Share these love potions with your Valentine this year and enjoy a long, happy and healthy love-in for the rest of your life.
For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK via email firstname.lastname@example.org.