February is National Heart Month. And, the first Friday in February is designated at National Wear Red Day to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease on women. So, let’s Rock the Red ladies!
There is a shade of red for every woman.-Audrey Hepburn
Did you know that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women? 1 in 3 women die of heart disease or stroke each year. So, we’re talking more women lose their lives to cardiovascular disease than all forms of cancer combined!
That means women like your mother, sister, aunt, dearest friend, soul-mate are dying at a rate of 1 beautiful soul every minute.
What Does It Mean To GO RED?
- Know Your Numbers. See your physician regularly and have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked
- Live a Healthy Lifestyle. Quit smoking, eat healthy, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
- Know Your Risks. Some risk factors are out of your control, like family history, age, gender, race or previous stroke or heart attack. But others like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and lack of exercise are all under your control and can be managed with lifestyle changes and/or medication. It’s up to you!
Click here to learn about risk factors, signs & symptoms and information on healthy living. It could be a matter of life and death.
So, because it’s National Heart Health Month, because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, because what is life without delicious food and because wearing red is hot, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite snacks. Which also happens to heart healthy, super easy to make and elegant enough to share with your Valentine.
Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries are Heart Healthy
Strawberries. Their heart shape is the first clue these babies are good for you. They protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer. Strawberries are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. They are also sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in calories. These pretty little berries are packed with antioxidants and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving — about eight strawberries — provides more vitamin C than an orange.
Dark Chocolate. I always buy Dove Dark Chocolate. This particular brand contains more Epicatechin than other brands of dark chocolate. Epicatechin is an active flavonoid which helps to keep cholesterol from gathering in blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries. Remember portion control though, chocolate is still high in calories!
Walnuts. These nuts contain fiber, along with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and phytosterols, which seem to decrease blood cholesterol.
Put these three ingredients together and you have a satisfying, powerhouse sweet treat you can feel good about eating and sharing with someone you love.
- Dove Dark Chocolate Promises
- Fresh Strawberries
- 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
- There are really no measurements here. Make a couple for yourself or a whole bunch for a gang (if you can share). If making them for yourself, just remember portion sizes. One serving of Dove Dark Chocolate Promises is 170 calories for 4 pieces.
- Wash strawberries and dry well
- Put crushed walnuts in a shallow dish
- Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat stirring after 30 second increments until smooth and creamy.
- Hold strawberry by the stem and dip into the melted chocolate then dredge in the crushed walnuts
- Place on a plate or rack covered with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened
If you want the finished berries to stand up for presentation, you can cut the tip off the bottom so it can stand upright.
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