• Dr Sally Norton


We don’t want to miss out on a bit of indulgence this Valentine’s Day but we don’t want to scupper our weight loss efforts either. Don’t worry – Valentine’s Day can be good for us!

Chocolate is a health food!​​

OK – not the cheap (but still so tempting stuff) that’s piled high at checkouts. That’s more sugar and fat than chocolate. We’re talking proper, good quality chocolate with high cocoa, or ideally cacao content.

Dark chocolate can have health benefits such as reducing blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health. And it may help our weight too as it is less easy to eat in large quantities than the addictive sugar and fat mix of the milk or white versions. A few squares may be enough to satisfy our cravings.

Plus, it’s rather delicious when teamed with healthy fresh, fruity berries. What’s not to love about strawberries dipped in melted chocolate? One of your 5-a-day plus a few antioxidants from the chocolate too…delicious!

Spice up your love life!​​

Spices have been reportedly used to spice up our love lives since ancient times. So, a spicy Valentine’s Day meal may be worth planning. Before you send out for a curry, there is not a huge amount of science to back up those claims. But there are plenty of other health benefits associated with spices from boosting brain function to immune system support.

And they’re a great way to pep up your food and add flavour without relying on salt or sugar – both of which we should be trying to avoid.

So rather than a greasy takeaway as your Valentine indulgence you could try a delicious veg-packed, aromatic, home-made version. It may possibly raise the temperature in the bedroom this Valentine’s day and could also be good for your health.

Get intimate!​​

If you are hoping to get up close and personal this Valentine’s Day, it can be good for you physically as well as mentally! The hormone, oxytocin, released by human contact such as hugging, cuddling and having sex, has a wide range of benefits – from relieving pain, lowering blood pressure and helping protect against stress.

And apparently, passionate sex can burn almost as many as calories as jogging – and, let’s face it, is certainly a lot more fun!

Love your heart!

​​With the heart getting all the attention, let’s make sure it’s healthy. Heart disease is still one of the biggest killers with one person dying from it every 7 minutes. But we can reduce our risk significantly as poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise and smoking are the main causes. So, making a pledge to tackle your health for the sake of your heart, and for that of your partner, is a great way to mark Valentine’s day. If you are buying presents for each other, consider something that will boost your efforts like a fitness tracker, exercise gear or a healthy recipe book.

Have a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!

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