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Valentine's Special: 8 Ways to Say "I Love You" With Heart Healthy Foods

Update Date: Feb 12, 2013 03:43 PM EST
(Photo:Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

8 Foods to Keep Your True Love's Heart Beating Strong

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. Instead of taking your partner to a steak restaurant, why not keep your lover's heart beating strong and offer then foods that are good for heart health?

Nutrition expert Susan Ofria offers 8 Ways to Say "I Love You" with heart healthy foods.

Ofria especially recommends red wine and dark chocolate not just for Valentine's Day, but for any occasion. That is of course only if people consume them in moderation.

"You are not even choosing between the lesser of two evils, red wine and dark chocolate have positive components that are actually good for your heart," said Ofria, a clinical nutrition manager at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital as well as a registered dietitian at the Loyola University Health System's Melrose Park campus.

Susan Ofria recommends 8 heart healthy foods not only for this Valentine's Day but for the whole month of February, which is national heart month.
(Photo:Victor Fraile/Reuters)



Chocolate is great for the heart, especially dark chocolate, which is 70 percent of higher in cocoa content. Ofria says that truffles, soufflés and even hot chocolate can be a good source of resveratrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids), just as long as it's made of dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa.
(Photo:Pixabay)Berries can carry a parasite known as cyclospora, which can cause watery and, in some cases, explosive diarrhea.



Fatty Fish

Ofria saus that fatty fish like salmon and tuna are great for the heart because they are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. She notes that canned salmon also contains an extra health boost because it contains soft bones which is a good source of calcium.


Ofria recommends that people choose either brown or golden yellow flaxseeds for heart health. You can eat them by grounding them up, and they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, phytoestrogens.
(Photo:cookbookman17/flickr)Beans are a great source of fiber and protein but overconsumption of beans can lead to high carb intake.


Black beans or kidney beans are an excellent source of niacin, folate, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, soluble fiber.
(Photo:TheCulinaryGeek/Flickr)Oatmeal can protect heart health and reduce risk of colorectal cancer.


(Photo:Karindalziel/Flickr)The asthma drug group was able to tolerate 20 grams of the allergenic food proteins by a median of 18 weeks.


Specifically walnuts and almonds. Ofria says that these two nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

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