As you may already know, February is American Heart Month. Here are some tips for you and your other half to be heart healthy this Valentine’s Day.
1. Stay at Home
Though it may be tempting to go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, save yourself the hassle of making reservations and cook a romantic meal for two at home. Try cooking recipes that use the top ten foods for heart health.
2. Enjoy a Glass of Wine
Pair your delicious home-cooked meal with a glass of Merlot. Research has shown that drinking red wine in moderation (1 drink for women, 2 for men) may prevent against damage to blood vessels, along with having several other protective benefits against heart disease, due to containing a chemical called resveratrol.
3. Get Moving
Instead of having a traditional date night, why not try working out together? Exercising is a great way to release stress, boost endorphins and improve your circulation. Whether it’s ice skating or snowshoeing, work out together in whatever way you like best to help you and your partner feel more connected.
4. Make it Dark
Skip the heart-shaped boxes of milk chocolate this year! Studies have shown that eating 1.5 oz of dark chocolate daily is great for lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow and may help to prevent the formation of blood clots. Choose dark chocolate with 60 percent cacao or higher to see these benefits.
5. Support Each Other
What better way to show your love than to give the gift of better health? Whether it be eating right or exercising, make a pact to start living healthier, together. Having support can help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals more easily.
However you decide to celebrate, simply spending time with the one you love can have significant cardiovascular and psychological benefits. Have a happy, heart-friendly Valentine’s Day!
Rutu Shah is student in the University of Vermont Master of Science in Dietetics program. She is completing her clinical practicum in Nutrition Services at the University of Vermont Medical Center.