IDAHO — February is American Heart Month, encouraging everyone to take a closer look at ways they can be heart smart.
One of the most important changes you can make to keep your heart healthy is through your nutrition. Molly Tevis, a registered dietitian with Albertsons, says incorporating some of the top heart-smart foods is an easy and effective way to make those changes.
"Instead of talking about foods we want to omit or avoid, I like talking about foods we can add to help support heart health," says Tevis.
Tevis says she has a top-five list of foods to incorporate including nuts, like walnuts, peanuts, cashews, to provide your heart with monounsaturated fats. She also suggests berries of any color to help get your daily antioxidants and fiber.
Other ways to have a heart-healthy plate: look underwater!
"Seafood so choosing tuna, salmon, halibut, trout. Try and incorporate more seafood for those awesome Omega-3s," Tevis explains.
Tevis also adds eating seafood twice a week may reduce your risk of heart disease by at least 36% and give you more energy throughout the day. You should look to plant fats, like those in olives, avocados, and their oils, as well as they're easy to use in everyday meals. Beans or even foods like hummus should make their way onto your plate to up your fiber and protein intake.
With Valentine's Day around the corner, Tevis says there are fun and easy ways to be heart smart, even with those sweet treats.
"Luckily chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has been studied for years and years and years, and there's lots of research to show that it does have some antioxidants and flavinoids so we can't forget chocolate during Valentine's Day."
Tevis created a heart-healthy grazing board with chocolates and cheese. She says it allows for creativity and making sure you have all your favorite healthy snacks in one place.
"You can work in the fruit. You can work in the nuts. You have the dark chocolate and you can pair it up and have a lot of fun with it. Plus, then it just makes those perfect portions so you don't feel like you're overindulging after a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner or if you're just celebrating during the day," she says.
For a fun date night idea before the big day, Albertsons is hosting a virtual chocolate & cheese board class Wednesday, February 10 at 6 p.m. Each kit comes with all the supplies you need and is $30. To get yours, just call Albertsons Market Street at 208-605-3752 x1237.