Love is in the air! Okay, so maybe not literally, but around this time of year my mind goes back to grammar school days of inking sweet nothings and hoping to receive a bounty of confectioneries on February 14th. We’ve all come a long way since then, but Valentine’s Day is still a great opportunity to pack some amazing nutrition into your diet. I can’t guarantee you a date on the 14th but I can certainly help you stock up on foods of love!
5 Foods Guaranteed to Get Your Heart Racing
Yes, we’ve all been bombarded with the whole chocolate thing but did you know that it was considered the “Nourishment of Gods” by early Aztec cultures? Chocolate contains two properties, caffeine and theobromine, that act as natural stimulants in the body. Besides revving you up for a hot date, it also contains more antioxidant properties than a glass of red wine! But don’t go overboard! This doesn’t mean you can eat a two tier box of truffles. Up the benefits of chocolate with LAVLE Belgian Chocolate, which contains Flavanols that help support strong blood flow throughout the body. I also like Sweetriot, which makes 100 calorie bars of dark chocolate decadence and tins of flavored cacao nibs that are ideal for an on-the-go fix. Or get a dose of calcium and sweetness with Adora chocolate discs; they satisfy a sweet tooth AND provide your daily calcium requirements.
These sexy spears have tons of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C and thiamine. They also contain a healthy dose of folic acid, boosting histamine production, a hormone that regulates other “feel good” chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine. Try a quick steam by placing in microwave with a damp paper towel over them. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and a pear vinaigrette for great flavor. Delicious served chilled as a salad course!
Said to increase fertility in women, sweet basil has an intoxicating smell and taste. Simmer tomato sauce with a few leaves and pair with a serving of whole wheat pasta or zucchini noodles. Sweet basil is also delicious in salads or simply as a topping on a freshly sliced tomato.
You should probably keep a tin of mints on hand if you plan on indulging in garlic, but the health benefits are well worth it! Packed with the chemical allicin, garlic increases overall blood flow in the body. Skip the capsules and get this V-day staple directly from food for a full effect.
In moderation, we all know that wine can be beneficial to our body. Red wine contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants associated with increased heart health. A healthy ticker equals a healthier you! Enjoy, but keep in mind any more than 2 glasses will have the exact opposite effects on the body.
Whether you’re single or attached at the hip, it doesn’t matter! Enjoy these foods regardless of your relationship status and you’ll feel a warm glow of love from within!