We all know Valentine’s day is the perfect day to celebrate a loved one, but what we may not realize is many of the common treats associated with the lover’s holiday are actually very skin and heart healthy. In honor of National Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, I give you full permission to indulge on these beloved V-Day eats!
Dark Chocolate: Chock-full of antioxidants, this holiday favorite improves the appearance of wrinkles and helps your skin withstand over twice as much UV radiation over time!
Dark chocolate has also been associated with lowering the risk of calcified plaque in the arteries and lowering the risk of coronary heart disease. Be sure to pick high-quality chocolate bars, with cocoa of at least 70%, to negate the sugar and high caloric count.
Red Wine: Resveratrol is an antioxidant compound famous for promoting healthy hearts and skin for its anti-inflammatory properties and anti-aging benefits. Coming from the skin of grapes, resveratrol in one test tube study showed that it slows the production of damaging free radicals in the skin which are carried through smog, cigarette smoke, and harmful UV rays. Drinking a glass of dry red wine such as pinot noir or merlot per day has been associated with raising HDL or good cholesterol-cheers!
Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are some of the most antioxidant rich foods available! Studies show that eating a variety of berries regularly in our diet can attribute to improved function in cells that line blood vessels, lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall inflammation. Not to mention the fruit contains many vitamins vital to building collagen and elastin production in the skin and maintaining a youthful glow!
Diet is a hot topic in my treatment room, as it can play a roll on your skin health. I always suggest plenty of water intake to my patients, as well as eating a colorful diet regularly. My go-to veggie to add color to any meal are leafy greens, due to the link with lowering risk of coronary heart disease, and for the antioxidant skin benefits. Beta-carotene and lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes and carrots are another favorite of mine, known to give a vibrant glow to the skin, as well as protect against sun damage and prevent wrinkling.
This Valentines, enjoy a colorful plate, sip wine, and indulge on your favorite desserts! Your heart and skin will thank you!
Happy (and healthy) Valentine’s Day to you!
Skin and Beauty Center
Sources: International Institutes of Health