Give the Gift of Heart Health this Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, show your sweetheart how much you care by giving a gift that’s from the heart and for their heart. After all, February is American Heart Month.

Heart disease is preventable and treatable, yet it’s the number one killer of both men and women. In the United States, about 647,000 people die each year from heart disease. So, rather than going out and indulging in that three-course meal, sitting for hours while seeing that blockbuster hit, or sharing a big box of chocolates, think of healthier alternatives you could both do together.

If you’re drawing a blank, try out these heart-healthy ideas:

  • Surprise your significant other with a heart-healthy breakfast in bed. Oatmeal is chock-full of heart healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, calcium and fiber. Top with fresh fruit and walnuts for an extra healthy meal. Or try this healthier pancake recipe and cut them into heart shapes with a cookie cutter and top with fresh strawberries.
  • Make a romantic heart-healthy meal together! You’ll skip the added sodium and fat found on restaurant menus, plus you’ll have fun cooking together. Put on some romantic tunes, light some candles and enjoy each other’s company.
  • The couple that trains together stays together!  Plan a gym date and work out together. Whether you’re taking a group class or designing your own routine, working out together and motivating one another can strengthen your relationship while also strengthening your heart. Check out these ideas for active dates. (Fun tip: Put together a love-themed playlist to keep you both pumped up during your workout.)
  • How about a massage to relieve some stress? High levels of stress can result in high blood pressure, chest pains, irregular heartbeat, or even a heart attack! Schedule a couple’s massage so the two of you can relax together.

Don’t let yourself or your significant other become a victim to heart disease. Remind them how much you care and give the gift of a healthy heart this Valentine’s Day.

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Photo credit: svetikd

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Read 3 Comments

    1. Hi Bruce,
      Thank you for your comment! Although some of these recipes do have added sugar, they are also very nutrient dense and low in calories and sodium. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the total sugar for a food or recipe that is listed in the nutrition facts accounts for added and naturally occurring sugars. These recipes are just meant to be healthier alternatives to the chocolates, candies, and unhealthy foods many people usually indulge in on Valentine’s Day.
      Be well,
      Niccole LaDue

  1. The pancake recipe has a quarter cup of added sugar; most pancake recipes do not have added sugar. The recipes for salmon and pork also have added sugar; it’s not necessary to include sugar when cooking fish or meat.

    People might want to include sugar for an occassional treat, but BCBSM should not be promoting added sugar as something that will improve people’s health. Here is a link to a talk about why sugar is toxic by Robert Lustig, a pediatric neuro-endocrinologist at UCSF, who is generally recognized as the country’s leading obesity expert:

    Here is a NY Times article discussing why sugar is not healthy:

    Here is another link to a recent interview with Dr. Lustig:

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