valentine's day

February 13th, 2015

5 Ways Romance (and wine!) Can be Good for Your Heart

On Valentine’s Day, it may seem like couples reap all of the benefits, but that’s not necessarily true. Did you know that there are countless benefits of healthy relationships – romantic or otherwise – that can improve the overall health of your heart? Yes, your heart reaps the benefits of February 14 all year round, even if it doesn’t come at the end of Cupid’s arrow. Here are 5 ways romance (and wine!) can be good for your heart.

  1. Chocolate: Sure, lovebirds are more likely to gift each other with this Valentine’s Day staple, but singles can still enjoy the health benefits that chocolate has for your heart – so long as it’s dark chocolate, 70 percent cocoa or more. Why? Because chocolate’s benefits come in fours:
    • Antioxidants: Can we describe these here like we have for the others?
    • Flavonoids: They help protect our bodies from toxins and repair damage.
    • Flavonols: They help vascular health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and preventing the platelet stickiness that can lead to dangerous clotting.
    • Resveratrol: This natural compound is found within food that has been proven to boost heart health and trigger the activation of protective genes, which suppress tumors and increase longevity.
  2. Looking After Your Loved Ones:  It’s no surprise that couples tend to monitor each other’s health and general well-being and therefore experience more longevity. But even singles can find similar levels of concern and care from loved ones of all kinds. Having a partner, family member or friend who’s invested in your health means greater attention to your overall wellness and better heart health as a result.
  3. Activities À Deux: Couples who share common interests tend to do more activities together. Whether it’s hiking, playing tennis, running or just taking a stroll after dinner, people are more likely to be active if they have a partner to help motivate them. So grab your significant other, your best friend or even a coworker and indulge in those interests. You’ll bond and burn some calories. What’s not to love?
  4. Being In Harmony: Good relationships = good communication. Good communication = lower stress. Lower stress = less inflammation of your heart. Do you see the formula? Surround yourself with healthy relationships on Valentine’s Day and every day.

But the best way to do your heart a favor, on Valentine’s Day or every day, is to know your heart’s health. Find out your heart’s “real” age by using our quick and easy Sentara Heart Health Profiler tool.