Five Foods to Say, 'I Love You and Your Heart'

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When we think of Valentine’s Day we think of chocolates. But, this year, think about giving your Valentine something that says, “I love you and your heart.” Here are five treats to consider:

  1. Heart-shaped fruit. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make heart-shaped melons. Serve them with strawberries and grapes, or if you are feeling creative, put the melon, grapes, berries and pineapple on skewers and make a homemade fruit bouquet.
  2. Strawberry fruit kabobs. Select a variety of colorful fruit, such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, Cutie sections and pineapple and place them on skewers to make fruit kabobs. Serve with vanilla yogurt.
  3. Chocolate-covered strawberries. For this dessert, simply dip strawberries in melted dark chocolate (it’s better for you). You’ll only use a small amount of chocolate for this decadent treat.
  4. Heart healthy trail mix. Mix almonds, dark chocolate, wheat Chex cereal and Cheerios. Place them in a cute Valentine gift bag for your special someone.
  5. Get Cuties. If you want to pass out a few treats to grandkids, nieces and nephews or friends, put Cuties in a Valentine bag and add your own special message. You also can write messages, such as “Hugs,” “XOXO” or “Be Mine,” on the fruit. It’s a cute, inexpensive, healthy way to show someone you care.

Here is a link with more great ideas for Valentine’s Day.

Whenever you are choosing food gifts for loved ones, make sure you consider their health needs, and choose recipes and foods that are good for the heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women.

Here are five easy foods to incorporate in your diet that are good for the heart:

  1. Toss dark blue, red or black berries on salads, oatmeal or in yogurt. No cooking required.
  2. Dark greens. Incorporate dark greens, such as spinach in salads, soups, smoothies, wraps or pitas. They’re an easy way to add a rich nutrient.
  3. Add flax, berries, nuts and cinnamon to make it a quick and satisfying meal any time of the day.
  4. It’s easy to pack snacks such as almonds and walnuts and have them on hand for quick boost when you are feeling sluggish. If you are not a big fan of nuts, try some roasted soy beans, chick peas or edamame.
  5. Salmon or other fatty fish is a heart-healthy protein source that cooks quickly.

This month, make it a goal to add these five, easy foods to your diet. Show some love to your heart without adding a lot of time or effort.

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