Valentine’s Day is Friday, which means millions of people will soon be showered with flowers and chocolates and declarations of love and desire.
But if you desire to show your lover that you want many more years together, give the gift of health.
1. If You’re Going for Chocolate, Think Dark
A Hershey’s bar isn't the most creative way to go, but dark chocolate contains many important minerals and healthy antioxidants. Not only has it been shown to help with artery and heart health, but it may also improve mood.
Dark chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine. Though the research is mixed, some studies have shown that people who consume dark chocolate report a better mood and higher energy levels.
If you want to add some more antioxidants to help your special someone stay healthy, try dark chocolate covered berries from Shari’s Berries. With options like strawberries and cherries, you can be sure your Valentine will get something healthier than the standard chocolate sampler.
2. Give a Nice Bottle of Red Wine
Like dark chocolate, red wine contains flavonoids, organic antioxidants shown to have . Unlike white wines, which are sweeter and contain more sugars, research has linked consuming a glass of red wine a day to greater longevity.
Red wine helps your heart by increasing good cholesterol, decreasing bad cholesterol, and lowering blood clot risk.
No wonder a common Irish toast, sláinte, directly translates to “health.”
3. Make a Heart-Healthy Meal at Home
You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck on a fancy, candle-lit restaurant to be romantic. If it’s privacy you’re looking for, nothing beats a quiet dinner at home.
Meals that focus on fresh vegetables and lean proteins like chicken and fish aren’t only healthy, they’re easy to digest, which means your romantic night won't be cut short by an after-dinner food coma.
The American Heart Association has a slew of healthy recipes you can cook up for your Valentine. From Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta to Devil’s Food Cupcakes, your at-home dining options aren't limited to take-out.
4. Invest in Your Love Life with a New Mattress
You spend one third of your life in bed, assuming you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. A good mattress can mean the difference between waking up refreshed and wishing you knew a good chiropractor.
Besides sleeping, your mattress can also enhance your love life. Having a comfortable mattress that you and your partner both enjoy is a prerequisite for bedroom bliss.
5. Kiss It Out
Besides being the quickest way to show your Valentine you’re smitten, kissing improves the health of all involved.
Research has shown that kissing increases immunity as partners share small amounts of germs. It can also make you look younger by exercising your facial muscles. So pucker up and feel better.
6. Give the Gift of Massage
Getting massages together is not only romantic, it’s also a good bonding experience.
According to the Mayo Clinic, massage therapy has been shown to decrease stress, pain, and muscle tension, three things that can kill a lovey-dovey mood. Besides, those same three factors can shorten your lifespan.
So if your Valentine has been experiencing the winter blues or weather-induced cabin fever, schedule an appointment for both of you to have your stress and tension gently massaged away.