Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

Published: February 5, 2022

Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day sweet treats are thought of as indulgences, but fruit, chocolate, wine and romance can be good for your heart, says a study out of the University of Michigan.

As always, moderation is key. But there are components in grapes, tart cherries, and wine that can lower blood pressure and protect heart muscle.

“There are many fruits associated with Valentine’s Day, most commonly cherries,” says professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School Steven F. Bolling, M.D. “In cherries there are compounds called anthocyanins, which also can be very good for your heart. Perhaps we could even take the cherries and dip them in chocolate to make a very good, heart-healthy Valentine’s snack.”

Not all chocolates have the same benefits. Specifically, dark chocolate is the kind that contains flavonoids credited with being heart healthy.

“People have asked the question: which is better for you red wine or white wine? Probably wine in itself is good for you, just because it reduces stress and anxiety. But red wine has specific agents, perhaps in the dark skin of red wine grapes that are heart-healthy and heart friendly,” said Bolling. He also reminds us: “Let’s not overdo it.”

Bolling has also studied the benefits of grapes. A University of Michigan Cardioprotection Research Laboratory study showed that grape consumption lowered blood pressure and improved heart function in lab rats. Like many Americans, the anima