FoodFacts.com wants to acknowledge that February is National Heart Month! And Valentine’s Day – the holiday of hearts – is this coming Thursday. So we felt that it would be appropriate to inform our community tonight that you can celebrate both with some dark chocolate and red wine while knowing that, in moderation, you’re actually making good choices for your heart health!
Susan Ofria, a registered dietitian at the Loyola University Health System in Melrose Park confirms that both are actually good health choices. In moderation, both have positive components that are actually beneficial for your heart. Both red wine and dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher contain resveratrol. This has been found to lower blood sugar. Red wine also contains catechins which may help to boost “good” HDL cholesterol.
So this Valentine’s Day, give yourself permission to enjoy both and give your romantic heart and your physical heart the benefits of your own enjoyment!
Ofria also makes some recommendations for heart-healthy foods you can enjoy during National Heart Month – and all year long!
Red Wine – all varieties of red wines contain resveratrol and catechins. Enjoy them in moderation.
Dark chocolate, 70 percent or higher cocoa content – as long as it’s dark chocolate with the specified cocoa content, it contains resveratrol and flavonoids.
Salmon and tuna – specifically white, albacore tuna, are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseeds – brown or yellow ground flaxseeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytoestrogens.
Oatmeal – it’s good source of soluble fiber, niacin, folate and potassium.
Black or kidney beans – both are a good source of niacin, folate, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, soluble fiber.
Walnuts and almonds – additional sources of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Blueberries/cranberries/raspberries/strawberries – berries are high in beta carotene and lutein, anthocyanin, ellagic acid (a polyphenol), vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber.
Don’t you just love it when we get healthy permission to indulge in food and drink? FoodFacts.com certainly does! This Valentine’s Day, make sure your chocolate is dark and your wine is red and share a romantic moment with your loved one. And then, after that, remember to incorporate this great list of heart-healthy foods into your diet. Not just during National Heart month, but all year long to play an active role in your own good heart health!