It’s true: the way to a (wo)man’s heart truly IS though the stomach. Certain foods have long been praised for their ability to stimulate desire or bring good health but there are some foods that have the power to do both. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here are five delectably delicious foods that are good for the heart AND soul.
Red wine has been studied for its ability to thin the blood, reduce inflammation and protect the heart. A little vino also lowers inhibitions, which is perfect for date night! To keep red wine consumption on the healthy side, the key is to keep it moderate. Any potential health benefits will diminish if the health risks of too much alcohol creep up on you, not to mention that hangovers are NOT sexy. For women, this sweet spot is one 125ml (half cup) glass a day; you lucky guys get up to two. Maybe on Valentine’s day you can have a bit more…just don’t make a habit out of it!
There is probably no food in the world more associated with love than chocolate. And if it happens to be good for you? All the more reason to indulge, healthfully. To harness the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant potential of chocolate it is best to keep chocolate as close to its natural source as possible. Think truffles made with raw cacao powder or a nice piece of dark chocolate with at least 75% cacao solids. Buy good chocolate and savour it with the love of your life…or yourself. Because apparently just eating chocolate can release the same feelings as being in love!
As far as aphrodisiacs go, avocados hanging on the tree look very similar to, well…you can figure it out. Avocados seduce your tastebuds with all of their luscious, creamy texture that you can use to make beautiful dips or a tempting chocolate mousse. Avocados also seduce your heart with fibre, folate and a bounty of heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats. Eat with abandon.
Looking the very picture of fertility, figs are loaded with tiny seeds that are incredibly fibre rich for that amorous heart of yours. If you can find fresh figs, layer them with goat cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction. A tempting Valentine’s amuse bouche in 30 seconds flat that will help fill you up so you don’t overeat and lose all your energy for dessert.
Pomegranate are the colour of love and bursting with juicy, high fibre arils that look like jewels sprinkled on your plate. Some say that pomegranates are actually the original forbidden fruit and one look at a glossy, juice-laden pomegranate and you can easily understand why. Pomegranates are the very definition of seductive abundance but they have a very nice side to go along with the naughty.
Pomegranates are rich in those same anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phyto-chemicals that help keep your heart happy and pumping strong. Make a pomegranate juice reduction to drizzle into salad dressing or top your chocolate dessert with a handful of pomegranate arils.
Want to peek further into my grocery cart of favourite foods? Check out my Healthy Grocery List on Pinterest.