Between cheap candy and store-bought bouquets, it’s no wonder so many people find the whole Valentine’s vibe cloying, artificial, and over-hyped. We’re all in favor of sharing the love—we just think the standard, old-school treats of chocolate and candies could use a healthy update: Fruit!
Unlike candy and the added sugar in processed and baked treats, the natural sugar in fruit has many well-documented health benefits, including better gastrointestinal health, long-term weight management, and decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Whether you’re planning a quiet, romantic evening or a fun-filled “Gal-entine’s” fiesta with friends, The FruitGuys has three reasons to treat yourself and your loved ones to fruit instead of candy on Valentine’s Day:
1. Share Natural Sweetness & Protect Your Heart (And Other Organs)
Most of us heard about the negative effects of too much sugar consumption and its potential for deeply harmful impacts on the body. But it’s important to understand the different forms of sugar in our diet — and why some present a far greater risk to our health and wellness than others.
Enjoying sugar in its natural state, in fresh fruit, is perfectly healthy for most people. That’s because whole fruit (unlike candy, soda, or other processed sugary treats) contains a host of beneficial nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Also, the high fiber content of fruit slows down the rate of sugar absorption, which reduces its impact on the pancreas and liver—vital organs that can be affected by sugar overload.
In contrast, “added sugar” is the sugar that gets added to sweetened beverages or food during processing. There’s growing scientific evidence that consuming too much-added sugar, over time, is linked to developing diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease.
The University of California at San Francisco’s SugarScience website has a wealth of useful information and nutritional facts about sugar. As they explain: “eating fruits and vegetables is protective of heart disease (the #1 cause of death worldwide), while the evidence shows that sugary drinks and foods put us at greater risk for heart disease.”
The health benefits of eating whole fruits are well-documented and include better gastrointestinal health, long-term weight management; decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
2. Show off Your Thoughtful, Creative Side
There’s not much original about a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates — but think how impressed your beloved will be with something fruit-based and deliciously unexpected, like a colorful Winter Citrus Salad, some Caramelized Bananas, or a gift-wrapped jar of DIY Honey-Pickled Radishes?
Other creative, fruit-based ideas include fresh fruit skewers covered in chocolate, fruit pizza, or filling up a tray of cupcake holders with your favorite fruits, then drizzling them with honey, dark chocolate, or the garnish of your choice.
If you’re short on time (or patience), or maybe looking for something ready-to-share or to send long-distance, sending them a FruitGuys gift box of fresh fruit and nuts is a delicious and easy option. Order with just a few clicks, and delight someone you love with a fresh and thoughtful alternative to the usual candy.
3. Boost Your Energy & Your Libido
Many fruits are considered to be aphrodisiacs: watermelon, strawberries, figs, and avocados to name just a few. We’ve all heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” – and apparently there are more benefits. A 2014 Italian study found that daily apple consumption improved women’s sex lives.
Fresh fruit is a great source of natural energy, which is not surprising when you consider the natural sugar and simple carbohydrates they contain. Fruits with high water content , such as watermelon, apples, oranges, peaches, cantaloupe, and grapefruit – also help prevent dehydration, which leads to fatigue. Bananas, peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries are among the fruits that made sports website Active.com’s list of 18 energy-boosting fruits.
By contrast, what happens to your body after indulging in cake, cookies, or candy? Doctors Anna Maria and Brian Clement, authors of 7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality told Shape magazine that the saturated trans-fats found in processed baked goods can drain your energy, including your sex drive: “they surround the cells, coagulating them so that vital food glucose can’t be absorbed and remains in the blood, raising blood sugar and lowering libido.” Their list of all-natural foods for boosting energy in the bedroom includes black raspberries, watermelon, and figs.
In short, there are plenty of ways to be a sweetheart and be good to your body (and any other bodies you love). We call that the ultimate Valentine’s win!
Elisabeth Flynn is a freelance writer who lives and works outside Philadelphia. She writes about food, fitness, workplace culture, and personal finance.