Too many Valentine’s treats may not be good for your health, but boosting your feel-good hormones is always in fashion. Sharing affection with hugs and kisses releases your feel-good hormones, as well as lowering stress hormones. And Feb 14th is the perfect excuse for some self-care, as well! So with that in mind, here are our top tips to really feel the love this Valentine’s Day…
Release those happy hormones
Oxytocin – the love hormone.
Oxytocin is a hormone triggered by closeness and can help us bond with loved ones. It is also known as ‘the cuddle hormone’ and ‘the love drug’. Simply hugging a loved one (partner/family/friend) can increase oxytocin levels!1https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/oxytocin-the-love-hormone. Music, touch, cooking together and intimacy with your partner are all proven ways of releasing this ‘love drug’ hormone into your bloodstream and are arguably the ingredients to a great Valentine’s Day 😉
Spice it up
No better day to spice up your life – you know we mean in the kitchen, right?
Why not explore some new recipes or spices and cook something delicious for the evening? Eating something you really enjoy can trigger both dopamine and endorphin release. Sharing this experience of cooking and eating with a loved one may give the added benefit of an oxytocin boost too!2https://www.healthline.com/health/happy-hormone#food
For an extra happy hormone boost, include some tryptophan-rich foods (salmon, cod, chicken, turkey, potatoes, cheese, quinoa, chickpeas) or tyrosine-rich foods (chicken, cheese, avocados, soy, sesame seeds). These foods provide the precursors for the happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
We’ve got you covered for gut-healthy meal inspiration too with Spaghetti Bolognese, Fajita bowl, or Miso and Tempeh Stir-fry. Check out our healthy Apple Crumble dessert recipe for something sweet for afters!
Indulge in dark chocolate
Because after all, what would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate?
Dark chocolate has a bunch of proven health benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants and polyphenols, provides many nutrients including magnesium and iron, may improve blood pressure and heart disease risk, and could even improve brain function!3https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9
Check out our Valentine’s Day chocolate brownies recipe for a delicious dessert. These tasty brownies are so good you’ll want them all for yourself, but remember to share for that added oxytocin release 😉
Self-love is the best love
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the heck are you gonna love somebody else?”
Forget the rest of the world for a moment – Valentine’s Day is a great time to remember the importance of self-care! Take this as an opportunity to check in with yourself – are you taking time in your life to rest, relax and reduce stress? Prioritising regular “me-time” is important not only for your mental health but also for your gut health. Prolonged stress reduces your bacterial diversity and is almost always felt in digestion.
Schedule a date night with yourself, whether it’s on Valentine’s Day or another night this week. Enjoy your favourite meal, take some time for deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or try journaling. If you focus your meditation on someone you care about (compassionate meditation) you will further benefit from this oxytocin (‘love drug’) production too.4https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-oxytocin#meditation Maybe harness the natural relaxing power of lavender – take a bath and use some Calm Down Goats milk Soap, relax afterwards using our Calm Down Kefir Lotion, and Sing Me to Sleep Tea. Or perhaps it’s time to take power in just doing nothing? Whatever self-care looks like for you, this is your reminder to do it ❤️
Read 5 ways to love yourself this Valentine’ for more tips on how to love yourself more.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day from the Chuckling Goats X
Questions? Feel free to get in touch with our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays, to have your questions answered!