11 Heart Healthy Ideas for a Perfect Valentine’s Day
adapted from maxliving.com
The idea of Valentine’s Day out sounds enticing. You might envision a candlelight dinner, dancing, and strolling in the moonlight.
Most of us know the realistic scenario of this romantic holiday.
You wait an hour for a table and pay too much for mediocre, unhealthy food. February weather means you’ll likely be running to the car rather than along a beach after dinner. You nosh on stale, sugary drugstore chocolates watching bad TV reruns before you and your significant other dozes off.
You’ll find plenty of heart-shaped chocolates at your local stores during this time of year. But February is also Canadian Heart Month, which aims to raise awareness about heart disease while cultivating strategies you need to keep a healthy heart at any age.
Valentine’s Day makes the perfect time to become more aware of your heart health. When you take care of yourself, you give the world a gift of showing up as your best self. Your significant other will feel secure that you’re healthy and happy. Everyone benefits.
Self-care starts with your heart. When you focus on this vital organ, you feel better, have more energy, reduce your risk of other diseases, and cultivate the confidence that you will be healthy at any age.
To cover all your heart-healthy bases, you need the right nutrients.
Even if you deviate from your eating plan a bit on this special day, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the nutrients that your heart — and your entire body — require to thrive.
According to Health Canada, most Canadians are not achieving their required daily amounts of vitamins and minerals. MaxLiving's two a day multivitamin was designed to provide effective dosages of nutrients that are difficult to obtain in the typical daily diet, such as 158 mg of mixed tocopherols, 200 mcg of selenium, 400 mcg of chromium, 500 mg vitamin C and 400 mcg folates. Calcium and magnesium were purposely left out since they should be taken separately at therapeutic doses.
Daily Multivitamin utilizes the most efficiently absorbed mineral forms available: true Albion chelates. These minerals are sourced from our raw materials supplier Albion Advanced Nutrition with the best mineral technology in the industry
You can make this Valentine’s Day — or really, any day — heart healthy by taking these nutrients with one of your meals. It’s that easy to rest assured you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to thrive.
With these strategies, you have everything your heart requires to stay healthy for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
1. Make dinner fish. Wild-caught, cold-water seafood is a superfood: Rich in protein, nutrients, and healthy fats. The two dominant omega-3 fatty acids in fish, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), provide powerful heart protection: People who eat more fish have healthier hearts. Our Teriyaki Salmon makes a great starter entree. If fish isn’t on the main menu, you can still get that heart-healthy wallop with our Wild-Caught Salmon Chowder. Not a fish fan at all? Opt instead for a quality omega-3 fatty acid nutraceutical to get those critical nutrients.
2. Explore new recipes. “90% of Canadians don’t like to cook—and it’s costing them thousands each year -- Eating out and grabbing convenience foods easily add up around your waistline as they sabotage your health, too. Valentine’s Day makes a great time to get in the kitchen and experiment with a new dish. Make it fun. Put on some great music and keep the conversation lively. Not sure where to begin? We’ve got some delicious dinner entrees here.
3. Make it sweet and healthy. You never need to deprive yourself, on Valentine’s Day or otherwise. That doesn’t mean you should indulge in sugary, processed foods. Besides, eating a heavy dessert after a big dinner makes a surefire way to zap your romantic mood. Good news: You can have your cake and eat it without any guilt when you use our decadent, no-sugar-added recipes like our Almond Fudge. They’re quick to whip up, so you can spend more time with that special someone! You can search for more delicious, easy dessert recipes on our website here.
4. Add these heart-healthy seeds. Flaxseeds and chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), another anti-inflammatory fatty acid that — like EPA and DHA — can support heart health and much more.
5. Go for the rainbow. A wide array of colorful vegetables and fruits can provide nutrients that protect your heart.6 Banish any idea of vegetables being boring! Think outside the box with creative healthy side dishes like zucchini fries. Really step up those plant foods for Valentine’s dinner! Fresh or frozen organic berries make a delicious, naturally sweet dessert.
6. Indulge in dark chocolate. The heart-healthy flavonoids in dark chocolate can lower inflammation, improve blood pressure, support blood circulation, and lots more. All of those things reduce your risk of heart disease. Most drugstore chocolates don’t make the grade. Look for organic dark chocolate with at least 80 percent cacao and no more than four grams of sugar per serving. Check your portion size, too: Most bars contain several servings!
7. Work it out. Moving just 30 minutes a day five days a week can make your heart healthier and reduce your heart disease risk. Physical activity can mean anything that moves your body. For Valentine’s Day, that might mean rollerblading, roller skating, or dancing with your partner. Throw on some catchy tunes and make movement fun!
8. Put on something funny. A fun rom-com, feel-good romance, or other lighthearted movie or TV show can be just what you need to dial down a stressful day. Studies show that a good laugh can lower stress, decrease inflammation in your arteries, and support a healthy cholesterol profile.
9. Do some down dogs. Rather than veg out with TV reruns after a filling dinner, consider a yoga class or doing some poses at home. Yoga can provide a physical workout while also helping you reduce stress and even support heart health.
10. Cultivate your bliss. Whether you spend Valentine’s Day alone or with someone, mindset determines everything. An optimistic, can-do attitude can help lower stress, anxiety, and other mood disorders that can contribute to heart disease. You can’t eliminate stress, but you can create ways to dial it down. How you do that depends on what works for you. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or watching a funny movie can all boost your mood while being heart healthy.
11. Hit the bedroom earlier. Not for that, although studies do show people who have less sexual activity have a higher risk of heart disease. We’re talking about sleep here. Regardless of other risk factors such as your age and overall health, not getting sufficient shuteye can increase your risk of heart disease and lots more. Aim for at least seven and preferably more like eight or nine hours every night of solid, uninterrupted sleep. Try increasing your quality sleep with a highly beneficial supplement if you have trouble falling or staying asleep.