Valentine’s day is just around the corner and that means it’s time to get your heart in tip-top condition so it can love passionately and unabashedly. We recommend you start the process by feeding it right.
Here are three simple ways to incorporate heart-healthy foods into your diet:
Drain and rinse 1 (16-ounce) can white beans (such as Great Northerns or Cannellini). Place in a bowl with 1 jarred roasted red bell pepper, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Mash with a fork. Spread on a wrap for a veggie sandwich, top with melted cheese as a side to chicken, pork or fish, or use as a dip for veggie sticks.
Walnut-Olive Pesto: Place 2 cups walnuts, 1 cup large pimiento-stuffed green olives, 1 large garlic clove, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Use as a topping for pasta, meat, fish or chicken, as a spread for crackers or as a sandwich spread. It’s also a great flavor enhancer in sauces and chili.
Avocados: Monounsaturated fat
Scoop out 1 avocado into a small bowl. Add kosher salt and a sprinkle of lemon juice and mash with a fork. Use as a spread for bagels or hearty multi-grain toast.
—David Grotto is a registered dietitian, radio talk show host and author of 101 Optimal Life Foods.