With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d tak ea look into the affect Love has on your heart health. While taking your L-arginine supplements along with maintaining a heart healthy diet and exercise are well within your control, when it comes to The L Word there are many things that are out of your hands. Love is unpredictable, overwhelming, and either incredibly beneficial to your heart health or incredibly detrimental.
Being in Love is Good for the Heart
Even as you do everything within your power to maintain a healthy heart; healthy diet, exercise, low stress, low blood pressure, no family history, l-arginine supplements, and so on, there is one aspect of heart health that really only gets mentioned during February; Love.
According to cardiovascular research, ‘love in fact helps prevent heart disease.’ The euphoria accompanied with feelings of being in love, or being loved, can counteract stress and the negative emotions that lead to high blood pressure.
Your heart responds to every single emotion that you have. From anger, which speeds up your heart rate and can even cause the rhythm to become sporadic, to depression, to love, each emotion affects the heart differently. Studies have shown that love can actually restore the body’s natural sinus rhythm and get the heart pumping more regular.
Stress and It’s Affect on the Heart
When you feel stress and depressions, whether it’s from a stressful work environment or depression from loneliness, your heart works overtime. The heart speeds up, the blood vessels constrict in response to increased stress, thus raising blood pressure. This stress and increased pressure on the blood vessels leads to epithelium damage. When the cells within the walls of your arteries become damaged, those epithelium cells cannot produce the elements necessary to maintain healthy circulation.
This all leads to plaque build-up, hypertension, arrhythma, and an array of cardiovascular diseases. All of this is simply because of chronic stress or depression, often from loneliness.
Your Heart in Love
Love, affection, feelings of security and gratitude have been scientifically proven to slow down the heart rate, normalize heart rhythms, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation within the arteries. All of that from simply being in love. Amazing, right?
Holding hands and showing affection in the smallest ways can actually cause the pituitary gland to release oxytocin, also known as the ‘pair bonding hormone.’ It not only causes two people to bond on a chemical level, it decreases levels of stress hormones, and lowers blood pressure.
Heart Health on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is about more than just buying your partner some flowers and chocolates, it’s about making a conscious effort to make your partner and your heart happy. This Valentine’s Day do more than the usual. Consider how heart healthy it could be for the both of you to spend some quality time together. Fall in love again, or for the first time, and reap the benefits of giving your heart some of the benefits of Love.