Valentines Day and Heart Health

Valentines Day and Heart Health

Positive Effects Valentines Day Can Have On Your Health

Valentines Day leads us to romantic images of holding hands, walks through the park, kissing, candy, and romance.  But, did you know that these things are just as beneficial to the heart as they are to the soul?  Read on to find out just how good Valentines Day is for you health.

Social Interaction

Recent studies have shown that reductions in stress and anger have a huge effect on heart health.  Cardiologists believe that the excessive amount of hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which release during these periods of high stress may even be causes of strokes and heart attacks.  Something as simple as a hug or talking with a friend can

have huge beneficial effect and help shield one from some stress.

If you find yourself feeling lonely today make a concerted effort to get out and socialize.  Even if you feel uncomfortable or awkward make an effort today to get out and talk, even with strangers.  Any human interaction is can make you feel better.  There are even anti-valentine day parties around the nation today.

Getting out for a Walk

You’ve heard it, time and time again, that any sort of exercise is positive for your health.  But the image that most of us have of excercise is going to the gym and working out or running till ones legs can move anymore.  But we suggest taking a walk (even better if you can make it a brisk one) to that movie tonight or even just around the block.  The time spent focusing on the present moment and the connections that you can build and reinforce will do wonders for you.  Lowering your stress levels by not only the “excercise,” but also with the release of endorphins (those feel good chemicals in the brain).

Chocolate

Recent studies have found that the chemicals in chocolate have been found to have favorable health effects on the human body.  There is even some evidence that it might be able to cut the risks of developing heart disease by as much as a third.

The cocoa bean is full of flavonoids which can act as an anti-oxidant inside the body.  And while it has been shown that flavonoids help the body eliminate substances which cause diseases, their main advantage is in controlling of cholesterol levels by decreasing LDL, while raising HDL.

Now before you run off to the store to buy that box of chocolates, full of caramel, creams, liquors, etc.  the word to remember is “DARK.”  Milk and White chocolates do not contain these chemicals.  In order to reap any health benefits from chocolate at all it needs to be at least 75% cocoa.  While most of us are use to very sweet milk chocolates, the rule of thumb is the more bitter the chocolate, the more flavonols it contains.

A Glass of Wine

Red wine is thought to have some of the same health benefits that Dark Chocolate does.  This comes from the finding of flavonoids within the skin of the grape used to make red wines.  It also contains Quercetin, an anti-oxidant that is an antihistamine and immune system booster.  There is even some evidence that Quercetin might also help reduce plaque formation in the arteries of the circulatory system.

But just like chocolates, you have to select your wines carefully as some are better then others.  Cabernet Sauvignon has the highest levels of these chemicals followed by Syrah and Pinot Noir.

But be careful with wine.  Excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to negative effects on the human body, quickly negating the positive effects of the red wine.  A good rule of thumb would be one 4 ounce glass of red wine a day.

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