The surprisingly healthy side to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is often seen as a time to be super indulgent and forget about anything healthy. Just think about it: The day is typically full of a rich dinner, bottles of wine and huge boxes of chocolates. But we did a little digging and found out that February 14th is actually full of good-for-you things, too! Read on to learn about how your favorite romantic treats and actions can boost your health all year long.

Dark Chocolate  Eating dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, making it practically a health food. If you’re going to indulge, stick to chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao. And because of chocolate’s high fat and sugar content, limit yourself to 7 ounces a week.

Love  Feeling adored this Valentine’s Day? That fuzzy feeling comes with loads of benefits. It can help clear up your skin, improve heart health, reduce feelings of pain and even improve mental well-being. On top of that, your Valentine may be helping support your immune system. Research suggests that happy couples who engage in positive conflict resolution have higher functioning immune systems than those who don’t.

Red Wine  A glass a day keeps the doctor away! The alcohol and antioxidants in red wine may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. They key to good heart health with red wine is moderation. Remember, a little goes a long way!

Flowers– It turns out that “flower power” really does exist. Research associates indoor flowers with a positive well-being. The study found that patients in hospital rooms with bouquets needed less pain medication, had lower blood pressure, were less anxious and were generally more positive than patients in rooms without plants. This finding also can be applied to homes and restaurants, too. So grab a bouquet and make your sweetheart’s day a little brighter.

 

Photo credit: barbtrek

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