Heart-healthy Valentine’s Day Gifts
Looking for the perfect gift for someone special on Valentine’s Day? Why not give a gift that’s good for their heart, since heart disease is the number one cause of death among men and women today. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remember a loved one’s heart, especially since the heart logo symbolizes that special day.
Here are a few examples of heart-healthy gifts that you may want to give this year.
• Dark Chocolate
The classic gift that is a popular choice for many people is a box of chocolates. Although, there’s a wide array of different chocolates available to the consumer, this year why not choose dark chocolate, in lieu of, milk chocolate. This particular chocolate is packed with powerful antioxidants since it contains a higher concentration of flavonoids, which can help to protect against heart disease. Flavonoids can help lower the LDL, or bad cholesterol, and raise the HDL, good cholesterol levels in the blood. The best choice for dark chocolate would be the ones that contain at least 65 percent or more of the cocoa. It’s important to note, it doesn’t take a lot of dark chocolate to reap the benefits, and as with anything else, moderation is the key, especially since over indulgence can amount to unwanted calories.
• Edible Fruit Arrangements
These delicious arrangements of fresh fruit can be a perfect alternative to replace high caloric, sugary treats that traditionally are a favorite on Valentine’s Day. Fruit is also an antioxidant, whose naturally low-fat content would make a healthy addition to any meal. Fruit can provide many heart-healthy benefits, including help in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, which are two major risk factors for developing heart disease.
• Grilled Salmon , or Other Fish Dinner
Surprise someone special with a home cooked meal of grilled salmon, or any other fish, a generous portion of any vegetable such as broccoli, or asparagus, a side of brown rice, and your heart-healthy meal is complete. A diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids is good for your heart. In fact, research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease triglyceride levels, as well as, decrease risk of developing arrhythmias, which are irregular heartbeats.
• Red Wine
To add a special touch to the evening, you may want to toast this happy occasion with a glass of your favorite red wine. Red wine contains the polyphenol, resveratrol, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Studies in animal tests have shown the group receiving resveratrol showed a decrease in the LDL, bad cholesterol, and an increase in the HDL, good cholesterol. This overall decrease in total cholesterol is good news when it comes to reducing your risk factors for developing heart disease. Remember, moderation in drinking alcohol is important, and recommendations suggest two drinks a day for a man, and one drink a day for a woman.
Valentine’s Day may be the perfect time to show a loved one how much you care by giving heart-healthy gifts for this special occasion.