Valentine's Day Suggestions: Heart-Healthy Snacks, Medical Intervention

vdayhearthealthy.jpgIt's never too early to worry about Valentine's Day. An alarming number of releases we've received take a recessionary angle. For example, from February 10 through February 15, participants in T.G.I. Friday's "Give Me More Stripes" promotion will receive free Spiced Up Cupcakes with the purchase of two entrees. And 123Greetings says, "Spread Your Love, Save the Earth and Your Money This Valentine's Day With Free Ecards." Not only is this cheap -- you don't have to be anywhere near your beloved show him/her how you feel/don't feel.

As with all major holidays, Valentine's Day is for health professionals a medical event. University of Michigan cardiac surgery professor Dr. Steven F. Bolling says that components of such Valentine's Day staples as tart cherries, grapes and wine can lower blood pressure and protect heart muscle. "Perhaps," he adds, "we could even take the cherries and dip them in chocolate to make a very good, heart-healthy Valentine's snack." He also recommends massage, which helps the heart by "reducing stress and anxiety," which we assume is some kind of euphemism. To keep the romance going, Bolling adds that "these indulgences really do not have to be limited to Valentine's Day itself."

There's even a Valentine's treat for the lovelorn: psychiatric intervention. "Not Celebrating on Valentine's Day?" asks the Brookhaven Retreat treatment center in Seymour, Tennessee. "During the holiday, many people put off discussing the necessity of treatment." Nonetheless, they counsel that "when the person you love is in pain... sometimes the only real way to show you care involves medical treatment or intervention." They'll soon forget flowers, cupcakes, or free e-cards, but this is a Valentine's Day gift they'll always remember, unless the follow-up involves shock treatment.


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