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REAL Aphrodisiacs

Say "I love you" with flowers, a greeting card, or (best of all) chocolate and red wine, but be careful when you kiss this Valentine's Day.

Infectious disease expert Jorge Parada says, “Mid-February is usually the peak season for infectious diseases, such as the seasonal and H1N1 flu, mononucleosis, colds and coughs."

Changing weather or temperatures are often blamed for winter's coughs and sniffles. But in reality, colds, coughs and the flu are infectious diseases "caught" through transmission from one human to another.

According to Parada, “Becoming too hot or too cold can cause stress to the body, weaken the defense in fighting off infections and thus make us more vulnerable, but a person has to be exposed to a virus or bacteria to catch it.” Winter trends such as staying indoors in crowded arenas such as shopping malls or movie theatres may promote winter colds and flu.

When it comes to gifts of food, nutritionist Susan Ofria says, "You are not even choosing between the lesser of two evils, red wine and dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or higher) have positive components that are actually good for your heart." Both these "love foods" contain resveratrol, which has been found to lower blood sugar. Red wine is also a source of catechins, which could help improve "good" HDL cholesterol.

So eat chocolate, but not TOO MUCH of it. Anne Strieber's famous diet book has a special chapter called "Sweets," which will help you tame your chocolate tooth.



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