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Why Valentine's Day is good for your health

7th February 2020

Love it or hate it, hearts-and-flowers season is upon us and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And while many people will know that the day is a great excuse to spoil your someone special, did you know that Valentine’s Day can be good for your health? In more ways than one…

Flowers

Although the staggeringly increased prices of flowers around Valentine’s Day are nothing to smile about, the bunch itself can do more wonders than you may realise. Not only can receiving them give you an emotional health boost, but they can actually aid in memory and concentration.

Plants oxygenate the air, so when kept in indoor spaces, they can provide your brain with more oxygen to help it perform at its best. Not only that, but they can also help you to relax. The scent of flowers can soothe you and lower stress levels, especially if you include something like lavender in the bouquet.

Wine

Drinking excessively is never good for your health, but in moderation, red wine can have surprising health benefits. The flavonoids in red wine have an antioxidant effect, which can raise your levels of good cholesterol and contribute towards good heart health.

Chocolate

Like red wine, chocolate can be a source of antioxidants which can protect your arteries and prevent fatty substances from building up in your blood vessels.

But before you rush off to eat the entire contents of that heart-shaped box of chocolates, be aware that the health benefits of chocolate are small and they don’t come without a flip side. Chocolate can also be bad for your teeth and can lead to weight gain so be sure to only have it in moderation and stick to dark chocolate if you can.

Sex

If you’re hoping that your Valentine’s Day will end with a bang, then it’ll do more for your health than just improve your mood. Sex is great exercise, it can lower your blood pressure, it can ease stress, it can strengthen your immune system - the benefits are seemingly endless. Read more about how sex is good for your health in our previous post.

However, sex can also be a source of anxiety for men who worry about performance or for women who are concerned about getting pregnant. If a man is worried that he won’t be able to get or maintain an erection then he may benefit from erectile dysfunction medication such as Viagra or Cialis. If the concern is more about finishing too soon then there are also premature ejaculation medications available including Priligy and Emla cream.

For women, there are plenty of contraceptive methods available to effectively protect against pregnancy, including the contraceptive pill, the contraceptive patch and condoms. And if you have any slip-ups with such methods then there are emergency hormonal contraceptive options too.

However it’s worth noting that condoms are the only method that protect against both pregnancy and STI’s such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

Love

Love is a many-splendored thing and it’s also a thing that has had scientists stumped for years. We know it’s there, we can describe how it feels and we can even see the effects of it, but we can't define or measure it. And yet, there’s no denying that it’s good for your health.

Loving relationships (whether that be romantic, familial or platonic) can strengthen your mental wellbeing, boost your immune system, lower your risk of disease and even lengthen your life! Love can even act as a painkiller, due to the rush of serotonin and dopamine you get when thinking of or looking at a loved one.

Loving gestures and touches also come with benefits of their own. Hugs, for example, can cause the body to release oxytocin, which can lower blood pressure and support cardiovascular health. In fact, personal contact in general ignites a part of your nervous system that has a calming effect and decreases stress.

Hoping to get a good night’s sleep? Make sure you end your Valentine’s Day with a declaration of love before bed. Those who do this tend to sleep more deeply, in a more relaxed way and wake up feeling more refreshed. And if saying ‘I love you’ isn’t the magic recipe for a good night’s sleep that you hope it will be, then there are effective insomnia medications available.