As many a singer and poet has proclaimed – love is a powerful thing. It can break hearts (figuratively), but it can also make them stronger (literally). Yes, you read that right. Love can actually strengthen your heart.
But wait, there’s more. All the romance that goes with it (think chocolate, wine, and flowers) has its own benefits too. We’ve brought together just a few of the heart healthy benefits below.
Love is all you need
Before you set out to find yourself a whirlwind romance, you should know that the health benefits of love apply to long-term relationships. You know, the kind that don’t inspire breakup albums. These happy and healthy relationships can help lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and even extend both halves lifespans. Not only will you be happy and healthy, you’ll get to enjoy that health and happiness together for longer.
While the love you have for chocolate may be strong, the actual benefits from this relationship come from antioxidants known as flavonoids. These technical sounding helpers can help to strengthen arteries, take out free radicals, lower bad cholesterol, and raise good cholesterol.
Basically, the only bad news is that it’s only good for you in small doses. So, stash that box from your sweetie in the freezer and make it last. Also, a quick note to the milk chocolate and white chocolate fans, these benefits are only found in dark chocolate with 60 percent cacao or greater. Sorry.
A bouquet of benefits
Roses are red, violets are blue, flowers are pretty and good for your heart, too. Nature and heart health go hand in hand. A moonlit stroll on the beach or a jog through the park can do wonders for your blood pressure and heart health.
For those moments when you can’t go to nature, flowers can bring nature (and its benefits) to you. Flowers do more than add a pop of color, they lift spirits, reduce anxiety, and can even build more intimate connections between people. As you may have already guessed, those are all great things for you and your heart.
Cheers to the healthy couple
Red wine has long been touted as a heart healthy elixir (in moderation). Its antioxidants help raise good cholesterol levels and can prevent dangerous clots from forming in blood vessels. It turns out that other forms of alcohol may have some benefits too.
In fact, moderate amounts of alcohol have been shown to help ward off cardiovascular disease and its blood-thinning properties can be effective against stroke.
Psst…all the parties of one out there. Don’t tell the couples, but being single has some heart health benefits, too. Statistically speaking, singles tend to exercise more, weigh less, sleep better, and have stronger (and more) non-romantic relationships. All of which are good for your heart health.
Love may not be all you need for a healthy heart, but it’s a great place to start. When combined with an active lifestyle and healthy diet, love can lift you up and keep you together for a long time.