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Valentine's Day may be good for the heart

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

For individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol tests, indulging in one of the pillars of Valentine's Day may help support a healthy heart. One expert says that consuming dark chocolate can have a range of cardiovascular benefits.

Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute cardiologist Julie Damp said that dark chocolate had high levels of antioxidants known as flavonoids. These molecules have been shown to have strong heart health benefits. So treating a loved one who has high cholesterol to a couple sweet treats may be beneficial.

However, the heart health benefits of the season don't stop with chocolate. Damp said that simply being in a happy, romantic relationship can boost cardiovascular well-being. Individuals in relationships are less likely to smoke cigarettes and tend to get more exercise, both of which can contribute to a healthy heart.

Finally, Damp said that some evidence has suggested that being in a relationship can cause hormonal changes that support cardiovascular well-being. Given all these benefits, Valentine's Day may be one of the best holidays of the year for the heart.

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