Happy Valentine’s amazing and beautiful reader!
Today our hearts take center stage, usually in the lovey-dovey way, but we can all take the time to love and care for our own hearts.
I can’t help too much with heartbreaks, but I can offer some advice for keeping the physical health of your heart well. Also, I find that cooking and eating homemade foods always makes me feel better when I’m feeling down.
Spotlight on Heart Health
Our hearts are one of the most important muscles in our body. Its role is to pump blood that carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body to all your organs to help maintain them and keep them healthy (1).
However, a lot of daily habits can compromise the health of your heart. Smoking, being inactive, having an unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels are all factors that can lead to poor heart health(2).
Luckily, there are a couple of simple things you can do to help improve and maintain the health of your heart: managing your stress, controlling your cholesterol intake, lower your blood pressure, quit smoking, start being more active, and eating more healthy meals(2).
One of the easiest things you can do is eat healthier. Diets that are low in trans and saturated fats, as well as nutritionally balanced, are good choices for helping maintain the health of your heart and the rest of your body.
Here's a delicious and heart-healthy recipe to enjoy this winter.
Heart Healthy Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
2 small spaghetti squashes
1 cup cottage cheese
¼ cup of mozzarella, grated
½ cup of spinach chopped
¾ cup of low sodium tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds.
Microwave the squash until tender (9 to 11 minutes)
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°C
In a bowl, mix cottage cheese, salt and pepper; fold in the chopped spinach
Season the squash halves with your desired seasonings, then use a fork or spoon to scrape up most of the squash strands, leaving them in the squash. Divide the cheese mixture among the squash and top with the sauce, then the mozzarella.
Cook until the filling is heated through and the top is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Michigan Medicine University of Michigan [Internet]. Ann Arbor: [updated 2019 Dec 15; 2021 Jan 23]. How the Heart Works; [about two screens]. Available from: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tx4097abc#:~:text=Blood%20carries%20oxy gen%20and%20other,blood%20throughout%20your%20circulatory%20system.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion[Internet]. Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: [updated 2021 Jan 26; 2021 26]. Keep Your Heart Healthy; [about two screens]. Available from: https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/health-conditions/heart-health/keep-your-heart -healthy