Pop Science And Your Heart: A Reality Check

Dark chocolate, red wine, green tea, black coffee... some of life's most flavorful pleasures have been recently touted in the media as heart-healthy choices. How convenient! Supposedly, if consumed in moderation, we can do good for our hearts just by indulging our common cravings.

But, before you stock your pantry with chocolate bars, let's take a reality check: The research is still preliminary and may be bolstered, in part, by wishful thinking.

In the meantime, there are plenty of delicious things to eat that your heart will love. According to the American Heart Association, adults should include fruits, veggies, fish, fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds as part of a healthy diet.

So how can you get more of these foods into your diet to keep your ticker happily ticking? The recipes below incorporate them into tasty dishes for inspiration. Have a great one we missed? Share your best tips for heart-healthy cooking in the comments!

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  • Harvest Vegetable Chowder

    Enjoy this country-style creamy stew packed with varied veggies -- a delicious slow-cooked dinner! Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 9 Hr 10 min Servings: 6 <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/harvest-vegetable-chowder/7178d0a8-a26f-4524-ae50-587b0c10cd79?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549" target="_hplink"> Get the Harvest Vegetable Chowder recipe</a>

  • Roast Salmon Provençal

    Fat-free Italian dressing adds the zing in this easy and colorful salmon and vegetable creation. Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 40 min Servings: 4 <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/roast-salmon-provencal/5d338465-f186-432e-9508-76434a5e731c?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549" target="_hplink">Get the Roast Salmon Provençal recipe</a>

  • Baked Salmon With Mango Salsa

    Fresh tropical and southwestern flavors mingle in a sensational three-ingredient mango salsa. Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 30 min Servings: 8 <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/baked-salmon-with-mango-salsa/f3add1ff-8720-4f59-b0e5-f119c945a2b5?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549" target="_hplink">Get the Baked Salmon With Mango Salsa recipe</a>

  • Cereal Chill-Out Parfaits

    Turn Cheerios cereal, yummy bananas and yogurt into a tasty breakfast parfait or easy nutritious snack. Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 10 min Servings: 2 <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/cheerios-chill-out-parfaits-cooking-for-2/17035c18-ad9a-46a8-9240-dabd0a5530c3?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549" target="_hplink">Get the Cereal Chill-Out Parfaits recipe</a>

  • Herb Barley And Asparagus

    Combine grains and vegetables into one super side dish! To boost the flavor when cooking with grains, a trick of the trade is to cook them in broth (chicken, beef or vegetable), apple juice or vegetable juice. Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 1 Hr Servings: 8 <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/herb-barley-and-asparagus/e19e1ef0-5e17-4ec5-b7c6-929cf495968b?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549" target="_hplink">Get the Herb Barley And Asparagus recipe</a>

  • Warm Tuscan Bean Salad

    Dinner ready in 30 minutes! Try this hearty bean salad that has a fresh herb flavor -- perfect if you love Italian cuisine. Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min Servings: 4 <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/warm-tuscan-bean-salad/ad782c98-fbfb-40f0-ad6d-4ab0bf73c7e9?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549" target="_hplink">Get the Warm Tuscan Bean Salad recipe</a>

  • Quinoa With Black Beans

    Quinoa is high in protein, low in fat and cooks quickly, making it a terrific dinner choice. As is, this recipe works well as a grain side dish; to make it a main dish, double the serving size. Prep Time: 30 min Total Time: 30 min Servings: 8 <a href="http://www.livebetteramerica.com/recipes/quinoa-with-black-beans/f6d80b45-307d-4d87-8565-f617db6fee7b?nicam5=PARTNERSHIPS&nichn5=AOL&niseg5=TDCORE_LBA&esrc=16549" target="_hplink">Get the Quinoa With Black Beans recipe</a>

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