Enjoy heart-healthy Valentine’’s Day with chocolate, wine and romanceFebruary 10th, 2009 - 5:17 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Feb 10 (ANI): With Valentine’’s Day come sweet indulgences, but a University of Michigan researcher says that extravagances like chocolate, wine and romance can turn out to be really good for your heart, if taken in moderation.
Dr. Steven F. Bolling, professor of cardiac surgery at the U-M medical school, says that tart cherries, grapes and wine have components that can lower blood pressure and protect heart muscle.
A glass of wine and massage can do wonders for lowering stress and anxiety, the researcher adds.
“There are many fruits associated with Valentine’’s Day, most commonly cherries, of course. In cherries there are compounds called anthocyanins, which also can be very good for your heart. Perhaps we could even take the cherries and dip them in chocolate to make a very good, heart-healthy Valentine’’s snack,” says Bolling.
However, not any chocolate, but dark chocolate is the kind that contains flavonoids, that can guarantee a healthy heart.
“People have asked the question which is better for you red wine or white wine? Probably wine in itself is good for you, just because it reduces stress and anxiety; let’’s not over do it. But red wine has specific agents, perhaps in the dark skin of red wine grapes that are heart-healthy and heart friendly,” warned Bolling.
In a recent study it was shown that grapes intake lowered blood pressure and improved heart function in lab rats.
It is believed that the beneficial effect of the grapes is from their high level of phytochemicals - naturally occurring antioxidants - that grapes contain.
Also, similar advantages have been found to be associated with tart cherries.
“A ”tart, heart-smart diet” has shown to be very beneficial in terms of heart health, heart function and also really reducing belly fat and changing your metabolic obesity syndrome, all very helpful,” said Bolling.
Animals that received powdered tart cherries in their diet had lower total cholesterol, lower blood sugar, less fat storage in the liver, lower oxidative stress, and increased production of a molecule that helps the body handle fat and sugar.
Cherries were found to alter factors that can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Other activities associated with Valentine’’s Day that are heart-healthy include massage. Reducing stress and anxiety has long been linked with benefiting the heart.
“There is proven research that indicates that massage itself is beneficial in the post-operative state, in hospitalized patients to reduce stress and anxiety and even probably to reduce blood pressure,” said Bolling.
He added: “All of these indulgences really do not have to be limited to Valentine’’s Day itself and certainly will lead to a much better heart-health status if we practice them everyday.” (ANI)
- Go for dark chocolate, red wine to keep your partner heart-healthy this Valentine's - Feb 11, 2011
- Dark chocolate may reduce cardio risks, study shows - Apr 25, 2012
- Thumbs down to benefits of chocolate, red wine - Aug 29, 2012
- The natural 'super-smoothie' that cuts cardiac risk - May 05, 2011
- The fruit juice cocktail 'super-smoothie' that cuts heart disease risk! - May 05, 2011
- Grapes cut risk factors for heart disease and diabetes - Apr 27, 2010
- How chocolates protect against heart disease - Feb 08, 2011
- Tart cherries may reduce inflammation, risk factors for heart disease - Apr 13, 2011
- Healthy eating, weight loss improve cardiac risk factors - Aug 30, 2009
- Key components of Mediterranean diet that keep heart healthy - Feb 12, 2010
- Want to lose weight? Eat dark chocolate! - May 02, 2011
- Hidden health benefits of Christmas food revealed - Dec 13, 2010
- Red wine shields brain from stroke damage - Apr 22, 2010
- Tart cherries reduce inflammation, risk for heart disease - Apr 28, 2010
- 5 easy steps to pump up your heart - Jan 12, 2011
Tags: anthocyanins, bolling, dark chocolate, glass of wine, good heart, health heart, healthy heart, heart function, heart muscle, lab rats, m medical school, phytochemicals, red wine grapes, reducing belly fat, smart diet, stress and anxiety, sweet indulgences, tart cherries, valentine s day, white wine