Valentine’s Day is this week. Fittingly, February is also American Heart Month. Many people give candy and chocolate this time of year to show how much they care. However, I think the best present you can give your loved one is a healthy heart. Heart disease is the number one killer in America. Although heredity plays a part in heart health, lifestyle can also make a big difference. Maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure, a healthy weight and an exercise regime are important to maintaining a healthy heart. Stay around long enough to show your family and friends how much you care about them.

Luckily, red wine and dark chocolate (perfect for this time of year) have been linked to a healthy heart. Dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation about 2-3 times per week, can actually lower blood pressure. Studies have shown it to increase blood flow and reduce the formation of blood clots. Red wine, high in antioxidants, can protect your blood vessels and possibly raise your HDL (good cholesterol). You don’t have to tell me twice!
Baked Dessert Cafe & Gallery in Berlin, MD is the perfect place to find both of these sweet treats for your sweetie. Located in Historic Berlin, Baked uses real, quality ingredients to bring you and your loved ones the best possible product. They use all natural ingredients that are free of artificial colors, flavors, and trans fats. If your valentine is gluten-free, they make the most amazing gluten-free cupcakes. I’m not gluten restricted but would choose these over many others any day. Ask about their cupcake bombs- you will not be disappointed. They also supply a variety of organic and biodynamic wines.

Here are some more tips for that healthy heart:

•Fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fresh is best.
•Eat plenty of whole grains and nuts. Walnuts are high in Omega-3’s which is great for lowering LDL (bad cholesterol).
•Eat cold water, fatty fish at least 3 times a week- salmon, tuna, sardines, herring.
•Cut back on saturated fats, trans-fats, and anything that has hydrogenated in the ingredient list.
•Cut down on sodium. Did you know that most of the salt that we eat comes from processed foods and not table salt? Check how much sodium is in your favorite ketchup.
•Increase your exercise. Your goal should be about 30 minutes a day. Anything is better than nothing though.
Baked Dessert Cafe & Gallery, Berlin, MD - Valentine's Day Cupcake Bombs
Give your loved one the gift of a good heart for American Heart Month, Valentine’s Day, and the future. Visit Baked Dessert Café & Gallery for sweet treats that are made locally and with quality ingredients – Support local businesses. Happy Valentine’s Day!