This Valentine’s Day, the only one you can trust with your heart is FOOD. That’s right, ya heard me; nourishing, nutrient dense food is all I am looking for this Saturday.
Let’s talk about why we should even give a flyin’ fig about heart disease. Um, well maybs because, according to the CDC, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds…and someone dies of heart disease every 60 seconds. Scurry stuff right thurr.
[Although, At least that means if you have an ex-lover you’re wishing ill this Valentine’s day, there’s a chance he or she will have a heart attack in the next 34 segundos.
All kidding aside, let’s get back to food. Because it’s delicious. And it’s guaranteed to do your heart goodddddd! And luckily, its all the delicious food.
– Nuts! In the randomized, controlled PREDIMED study of over 7,000 people, the intervention group provided with the Mediterranean diet and nuts had over a 13% decrease in diastolic and systolic blood pressure!! That’s more than the group who was receiving a Mediterranean diet with an emphasis in EVOO! (1)
And, even more interesting, that’s a greater effect than reducing salt intake has on blood pressure. So eat yo’ nuts
– Dark Chocolate! In a study of 60 young, healthy individuals provided with a measly 10 grams of dark chocolate daily, they reaped benefits of decreased blood pressure and decreased arterial stiffness. Make sure you choose chocolate with greater than 75% cocoa content and read the ingredients for the word “alkali!” If the cocoa has been processed with alkali, then the polyphenol (antioxidant content) has been ruined and its no bueno! (2)
– Red wine! I was shocked at just how powerful the studies suggest the active polyphenol, resveratrol, packs on the human body! One to two glasses of red wine (usually, one for females and two for men) has been associated with increased good cholesterol (HDL) and decreased blood pressure. (3)
— Coffee and Green Tea! Lawdy, Lawd—there’s nothing I lurveee more than a piping hot cup of tea on a colddd February day. Right now I am addicted to licorice tea (which supports adrenal glands and incidentally metabolism!).Coffee and green tea are loaded with catechins, a type of flavonoid which has cardioprotective effects.
Consumption of greater than five bags of green tea or 1-2 cups of coffee daily have been associated with improved insulin response (which means better blood sugar control and decreased systemic inflammation) as well improved endogenous nitric oxide production.
We’ve talked about how I adoreeee EnergyBits because they promote nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide promotes vessel dilation and decreased blood viscosity, thus its gona keep ya’ from having a stroke. Thanks. I’ll take it.YUM. YUM.
All I know, is I can’t wait to warm up by the fire with dark chocolate and red wine this V-Day and fantasize about the beautiful, beating heart that lives within me; and cherish a loved one.
Happy Valentines Day, my lovely friends!
Your Go-To Real Food RD