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HomepageBlogLove more, live longer

Love more, live longer

2/25/2020 | From: Medix team
Love more, live longer

As billions around the world are celebrating Valentine’s day, by sending flowers, buying chocolates and having candlelit romantic dinners with their significant others, there are still some voices who go against this celebration of love - why do we need this special day? Why not celebrate love every day?

 

We couldn’t agree more! Love should be celebrated 365 days a year. Not just to remind your loved ones how much you care, but also for health reasons. Valentine’s day traditions and celebrations of love can in themselves be beneficial to our health and wellbeing, and therefore should not be limited to just one day of the year.

 

One of the most common gifts of Valentine’s day are flowers. Flowers make people smile, that’s common knowledge, so one can argue that even that is enough to show they are good for our health. However, research shows that flowers have much greater value. A study from Harvard found that flowers can help relieve anxiety, increase energy levels and strengthen feelings of compassion toward others. Other studies have proven flowers and plants increase creativity and cognitive performance and can even alleviate pain among hospitalised patients.

 

Another sweet Valentine’s day tradition is chocolate. Of course, “health” is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about chocolate. This popular sweet is not considered to be healthy – it has a high fat and sugar content, large number of calories, it can cause cavities, and is commonly linked to diseases like diabetes, coronary heart disease and hypertension. But studies have shown that chocolate can also have a positive effect if consumed in moderation. Not only is it a stress reliever and inducer of pleasure, chocolate with high cocoa content is believed to contain high levels of antioxidants, which can slow the process of aging. Furthermore, a moderate consumption of chocolate can actually reduce cholesterol levels, prevent cognitive decline and lower the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. 

 

Moderate consumption is also key when it comes to another Valentine’s day symbol - wine. While people agree that consumption of wine should always be in moderation, the medical community is split over whether wine has health benefits. Some consider its high antioxidant level good for the heart and believe it may protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart, others say there is no cause and effect relations between wine and heart disease, only association.

 

But the one thing that should not be consumed in moderation is love itself. Love is good for us, it’s a positive emotion with many tangible health benefits. Love and affection in general are known to induce the release of different hormones in our body, like oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, that have a good effect on our mental health and our feeling of belonging. These hormone effects are varied and range from amorphic feelings of pleasure, happiness and well-being to more concrete benefits like reducing stress levels or inhibition of pain signals. But these hormone effects are not limited to mental health alone as they are also known to have physical benefits – lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, protecting against heart disease and more.

 

So, even though we are big supporters of Valentine’s day, we are even greater supporters of celebrating love and showing affection to the ones we love throughout the year, and as shown above - for very good and healthy reasons.



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