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Romantic Valentine’s Dinner Good For Heart

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Feb. 12 (UPI) — For those planning a romantic dinner for Valentine’s Day, it’s lucky that romantic and heart-healthy go hand-in-hand, a U.S. dietitian said.

“Years of research has shown that a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fat and lean protein will not only help with weight maintenance, but with overall heart health,” Katie Boles, a clinical dietitian with the Brenner FIT Program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., said in a statement. “Eating a variety of these foods and eating them in moderation is key to a heart-healthy diet.”

For example:

— During the meal, enjoy a glass of red wine. This alcoholic beverage contains antioxidants that can improve high-density lipoprotein, the “good,” cholesterol. But, only one glass.

— Serve a spinach salad to defend against high blood pressure and hypertension. Top it with walnuts or carrots to add crunch and reduce cholesterol.

— For the main course, serve a simple Italian favorite, pasta with marinara sauce. Tomatoes are full of beta- and alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Garlic also reduces serum lipids, also known as cholesterol, and can assist in lowering blood pressure.

— End the meal with a piece of dark chocolate with 70 percent or higher cocoa content helps to lower blood pressure.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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