14 Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes We Love

 

During the month of February, love is in the air. Red roses, red wine, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, chocolate-covered strawberries, teddy bears … signs of Cupid’s spell are here, there, and everywhere. But did you know that February is also American Heart Month?

Declared so in 1963—fast forward now over 60 years—we continue to forge on as a nation in our fight against cardiovascular disease. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. penned this poignant reminder in this year’s Proclamation on American Heart Month:

Each year, heart disease takes the lives of nearly 700,000 Americans.  It is the leading cause of death in our country.  Too many of us are familiar with the pain of losing a loved one to a heart attack, stroke, or coronary heart disease.  There is still hope, however: With the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and access to good health care, these conditions can often be prevented and lives can be saved … Join me in recognizing and reaffirming our commitment to fighting cardiovascular disease and extending the promise of a long and healthy life across this country.

With heart health top of mind, we put together this round-up of fourteen heart-healthy Valentine’s Day recipes we love so you can show a loved one how much you really care about their health, well-being, and longevity by sharing a tasty, plant-slant, and heart-healthy recipe (or two, or more!) inspired by the Blue Zones Food Guidelines.

As emphasized in Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones Challenge, research from Harvard and an international group of scientists clearly shows that the closer you can come to eating a whole-food, plant-based, and lower-sugar diet—a Blue Zones diet—the less likely you will be to develop not only heart disease but also diabetes, dementia, and several types of cancer. The bottom line is that eating a plant-slant diet can help keep heart disease and obesity at bay into your golden years so you can do more of the things you love with the people you love for longer.

What’s more? You might even have better sex, since these recipes feature a few of our favorite aphrodisiac foods (spinach, garlic, and dark chocolate!) that “amp up sexual mojo” according to Jill Edwards, MS and Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Director of Education for the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate at the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. For more on that hot topic, read 6 Foods to Boost Sexual Health (and Improve Blood Flow Everywhere).

Whether you are planning breakfast in bed for your special someone; a romantic, homemade dinner for two; a family-friendly meal; a tempting snack board for movie night; or a tad-bit-decadent pot-luck dessert party for your moai; or, maybe you want to whip up a delectable Valentine’s treat just for you…we’ve got you covered this Valentine’s Day. Now that’s amore! Happy Valentine’s Day from us to you!

P.S. These recipes were curated–with love–from the Blue Zones Meal Planner, where you’ll find thousands of recipes at your fingertips that follow the Blue Zones Food Guidelines while making plant-slant eating easy, affordable, and delicious.

LASAGNA ROLL-UPS WITH MASSAGED KALE SALAD

SPINACH AND ‘RICOTTA’ RAVIOLI WITH MUSHROOM MARINARA

ROSE LATTE

RASPBERRY SOFT-SERVE SMOOTHIE

CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRIES

STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC RICOTTA BRUSCHETTA

COCOA PANCAKES WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE

PASTA AL POMODORO

STRAWBERRY-VANILLA CHIA SEED PUDDING

SARDINIAN-STYLE PIZZA WITH EGGPLANT

ONE-POT WINTER TRUFFLE FARRO

CHOCOLATE HUMMUS

ITALIAN HERB BARLEY BOWL

CHOCOLATE-CHERRY-BANANA SOFT-SERVE

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