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Happy Healthy Heart

/ Health & Fitness

Make Valentine’s Day the day to start ‘loving your heart’!

East Lindsey nutritionist Marko Humphrey, a member of the community team at the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure & Culture, has produced a special ‘healthy heart’ recipe – perfect if you are cooking a romantic meal on Friday, February 14.

And he urges all of you to spend a little bit of time this Valentine’s Day thinking about how what you eat affects the health of your heart.

“Of course, we all know that February 14 is a day for romance, but why not make it a day when you think about how you can live longer and healthier with those people who are most special to you, and you will do that if you look after your heart,” said Marko.

Latest health statistics show how residents in East Lindsey are amongst some of the most challenged across the country when it comes to living with a healthy heart.

While the number of deaths from Coronary Heart Disease in people aged under 75 continues to fall across Lincolnshire, the mortality rate from all cardiovascular diseases remains above the national average. East Lindsey has the highest number of people living with cardiovascular conditions in the county. Research also shows high levels of obesity in the district, which is linked to coronary heart disease.

Marko, who offers regular advice at the Magna Vitae centres – Meridian in Louth, Horncastle Pool & Fitness Suite, Skegness Pool & Fitness Suite and Mablethorpe’s Station Sports Centre – says how a few easy changes to a person’s diet can make a big difference to their health in the longer term. And, combined with even moderate exercise, their lifestyles can be transformed.

“It is important for people to understand that they can still enjoy treats and don’t have to cut everything out, but if they just start thinking about some simple changes they may not even notice the difference, but they will certainly be making a big difference,” he said.

Some simple tips include reducing the ‘white stuff’ such as white bread and hidden sugars, eating more ‘colour’ such as vegetables and fruits and looking for the ‘good fats’ which include oily fish, nuts and seeds.

Marko’s Valentine’s Day recipe.

One-pan tikka salmon with jewelled rice (serves up to 4).


3 tbsp tikka curry paste

150ml pot natural yoghurt

3 salmon fillets, skinned

2 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, chopped

1 tsp turmeric

50g soft dried apricots, chopped

200g brown rice

100g pomegranate seeds

small pack coriander, leaves 


  1. Combine 1 tbsp of the curry paste with 2 tbsp yoghurt. Season the salmon and smear the yoghurt paste all over the fillets, then set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan (with a lid) and add the onion. Boil the kettle. Cook the onion for 5 mins to soften, and stir in the remaining curry paste then cook for 1 min more. Add the turmeric, apricots and rice, season well and give everything a good stir. Pour in 800ml water from the kettle. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 mins. Cover with a lid, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 mins more.
  3. Uncover the rice and give it a good stir. Put the fillets on top of the rice and re-cover. Turn heat to lowest setting and leave for 15 mins. Scatter over the seeds and coriander.

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