February is a month dedicated to hearts and love. Even after Valentine’s Day comes and goes, it’s important to keep your loved ones in mind everyday - and one great way to do that is through you and your family’s health.
This month is also American Heart Month, dedicated to raising awareness about and prevention of stroke and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. By making lifestyle changes, such as a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet, exercise and stress management, you can help prevent heart disease. In fact, a Mediterranean diet that includes fruits and vegetables and a variety of lean proteins such as beans, tree nuts and two to three servings of seafood per week reduces the risk of heart disease by as much as 30%, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
What research has found, is that omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood help your heart in several ways. They reduce inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body), making it easier for your blood to flow to your heart. They also make abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia) less likely and lower your level of blood cholesterol called triglycerides. They can also slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.
The American Heart Association, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and World Health Organization recommend eating a variety of seafood twice a week, aiming to take in an average of 250-500 mg daily of omega-3s EPA and DHA. Fish and shellfish with higher amounts of omega-3s include salmon, trout, swordfish, mackerel, pollock, sardines, anchovies, herring, oysters, crab and mussels.
When trying to get more omega-3s, salmon is a great choice. Available year round, salmon is an especially good choice this time of year because a serving provides 100% of your daily value of Vitamin D (the sun vitamin) and provides at least 500mg of omega-3s.
Featured Recipe of the Month
These are some healthy options to consider -
Maple and pecans are not flavors that are reserved for sweet stuff. This recipe is a great savory take on these flavor favorites.
This seared salmon with pesto fettuccine is bound to impress and can be made with three ingredients in just 20 minutes.