Give your heart a treat for Valentine’s Day

February 2017…It’s February! It’s American Heart Month, according to The American Heart Association—and, of course, Valentine’s Day is this month! But instead of red and pink, think orange! Nutrition Action Healthletter, a nutrition and health newsletter, describes the Cara Cara orange as the perfect winter fruit!

The article describes the Cara Cara, a cross between two types of navel oranges, as “intensely sweet, lower in acid, juicy, no seeds.”

Each orange, according to the article, is about 80 calories and packs daily nutritional values in the range of:

  • 1½ days’ worth of vitamin C.
  • 30 percent of a day’s vitamin A (compared to 2 percent for regular navel oranges).
  • 15 percent of a day’s folate, a B vitamin that’s important in cell and tissue growth.

Amy Deahl-Greenlaw, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Healthy NewsWorks, points out that “ALL oranges are naturally high in potassium and low in sodium. Eating foods high in potassium and low in sodium helps keep blood pressure healthy. And a healthy blood pressure is good for your heart!”

She also offered three suggestions for fun ways to eat an orange:

SMILES: Wash and cut an orange into 8 segments. Eat the flesh, then use the peel to cover your teeth as you smile at a friend or family member. Ask your friend: “Orange you glad you made me smile?”

MINI-FRUIT KABOBS: Use a toothpick, skewer, or thin straw. Place one strawberry, one grape, and one orange segment on each skewer. Enjoy!

SALAD: Cut orange segments into bite-sized pieces and add them to your favorite salad.

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