by Kevin DiDonato, MS, CSCS, CES
Today is Valentine’s Day and you may be wondering what to get the special someone in your life.
Now, some people may instantly think teddy bears, roses, or candies, which are all great gifts and something your special someone may love.
However, wouldn’t it be better to give more than just the usual…
Wouldn’t it be nice to give someone something that is both TASTY and HEALTHY all at the same time?
Of course you would!
And that’s why we have come up with a list of foods that will not only be touching to someone special…
…but also provide wonderful health benefits to their most prized possession (besides you) – their heart!
Top Three Foods for Heart Health Benefits
Of course, your normal Valentines’ staples – roses, cards, candy – may be well and good when you’re thinking of gifts
for your loved ones.
However, those gifts, although very special, may not provide a whole host of health benefits – like the foods listed below.
Now, wouldn’t it be great knowing that you’re not only giving your special someone something from the heart, but also something that is GOOD FOR THEIR HEART TOO?
Of course it would.
And that’s why we have provided the top three foods that are great for heart health and may be perfect to include on Valentine’s Day.
The Top Three Foods for Valentine’s Day
1. Dark Chocolate
Not only is chocolate usually a staple on Valentine’s Day, but dark chocolate sales soars this time of year!
And, it may also be one of the staples that may boost your overall heart health!
Dark chocolate – when the cocoa content is 70 percent or higher, may protect your heart!
Cocoa contains high levels of catechins, which could lead to lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and improvements in HDL cholesterol.
Plus, dark chocolate may also contain resveratrol – which has been researched extensively – which again may protect the heart from cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other heart related issues.
This Valentine’s Day splurge a little and buy some dark chocolate – that contains 70 percent or higher cocoa content – to protect your special someone’s heart health.
Another typical staple in any Valentine’s Day basket would be a bottle of wine.
Now, when it comes to heart health – the redder the wine the better it is for your heart.
Red wine contains, among other things, resveratrol, which as explained above, may do wonders for your heart health.
Plus, it contains plenty of antioxidants and polyphenols, all of which may reduce inflammation levels, reduce damage associated with free radicals, and other protection to cellular health.
Although alcohol found in red wine may be linked to adverse health conditions, splurging and enjoying a glass on this special day may not be that terrible.
And besides, you may be protecting your heart in the process.
How romantic would it be to come home to strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, a nice glass of red wine, and a portion-sized serving of broiled lemon-pepper salmon (or however you like your fish cooked!)?
Of course, it may wrap up an otherwise stressful day of running around, working, shopping, or whatever else you may do during the day.
And besides, salmon has heart healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids) and a good composition of mono and polyunsaturated fats – and these fats may be perfect for improving heart health.
Not to mention overall health!
Give Your Valentine the Gift of Health
Now, there are plenty of things that make Valentine’s Day a very special occasion.
And having the right foods – the ones that boost heart health – will be no different in delivering a special day AND delivering heart health benefits.
Since Valentine’s Day is a holiday from the heart, wouldn’t it make sense to surprise your special someone – whoever it may be – with gifts that not only taste good and are hot commodities, but that may promote better overall health and the potential to boost your heart health in the process.
And if you’re looking for that special gift that lasts all month long and may boost many health benefits – then give them this healthy gift as well: