For many people, Valentine's Day is an extravaganza of chocolate hearts and other sweet and sugary confections. But it does not have to be.
We spoke to dietitian and Potatoes South Africa consultant Mbali Mapholi who shared with us the healthy foods you should be eating on this special day.
Dark chocolate. Picture: Supplied
The darker the better
You don’t have to go sweet and sugary on your heart-shaped choccies. Bring on the dark chocolate – it’s good for sexual and heart health. The purer the cocoa bean the better, as dark chocolate contains polyphenols and antioxidants. Think red wine and chocolate chilli-infused sauce on beef with baby potatoes and fresh greens. Love on a plate.
Keep your jacket on
Appropriate advice in the month of love when your sexual health and protection is “on top”. But, did you know a potato with its jacket left on is far more nutritious? Rub them with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and a shake of chilli flakes for something hot. Or, fill them with low-fat yoghurt or basil pesto with nuts. Explore your options.
Sardines. Picture: Supplied
What if your partner doesn’t eat the popular aphrodisiacs such as oysters, and your bank balance doesn’t have the same rose-coloured tinge as a beautiful slice of salmon? Pilchards and sardines contain the Omega 3 oils that are needed to whet the appetite. Garlic is also known to get the blood flowing to all the right places – and if you both indulge – neither of you will notice.
Couples food: snacking and snuggling
If it’s “Netflix and chill” say no more. A platter of mixed nuts, red grapes, a few blocks of dark chocolate, low-fat cheese and crackers are packed with the ' right stuff’. Pair that with a glass of red wine and you are all set. Red wine has just the right blend of antioxidants and polyphenols to get your lady ‘in the mood’.
Baby spinach. Picture: Supplied
Do it at home
Spending quality time in the kitchen together creates beautiful moments where you can share physical touch, affirm your relationship, chat, chop, peel, prepare and have fun doing it – any night of the week.
Think baby spinach instead of kale (currently trending at a high price), chop in your walnuts, sprinkle with feta, crisp up baby potatoes into quarters for crunch, add a splash of lemon and salt and add a protein such as seared tuna, salmon or pilchards. It’ll take no time at all to prepare. After all, love is about spending quality time and creating beautiful moments. Go for it.
Relationships of the heart
Make Valentine’s Day the start of a relationship with your heart. It was controversial rapper Kanye West who said he didn’t like using the term "diets" but preferred to refer to "live-its".
What he was trying to say (we think) is that the food you eat shouldn’t be a fad or diet – it is something you should live with and be comfortable with as part of a long-term lifestyle.