Feb 13, 2014 1:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

This Valentine’s Day, treat your heart right by adding these three doctor-approved foods to your plate!

On the Menu: Salmon

Trade in your red meat for a fillet of cold-water, oily fish, such as salmon.

How it helps: Salmon is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower triglycerides in the body—the fats linked to diabetes and heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of oily fish a week.

Get cooking: Bake the salmon with lemon, garlic and rosemary for a sophisticated entree.

On the Menu: Quinoa

Round out your dinner plate with a healthy grain.

How it helps: Increasing your intake of whole grains may slow heart disease progression. Trade refined grains for oats, legumes, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, popcorn, whole rye, wild rice, brown rice and cracked wheat—all of which contain dietary fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels.

Get cooking: Dress up your quinoa by cooking it in vegetable or chicken broth instead of water. Mix in herbs like oregano and thyme for an extra layer of flavor.

On the menu: Blueberries

Indulge in a healthier treat with your sweetheart.

How it helps: Blueberries contain anthocyanins, the powerful antioxidant recognized as one of the strongest disease-fighters. Research suggests that these antioxidants reduce cholesterol buildup in artery walls, which may lessen your risk for stroke and heart disease. When compared with 40 other fresh fruits and veggies, blueberries ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity, according to the USDA Human Nutrition Center.

Get cooking: Whip up a fresh blueberry sauce and serve it over frozen vanilla yogurt.

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