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Valentine’s Day is a time when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship. And what better way to display your love than with cupcakes?
Similar to Christmas and Halloween, you may already be bracing yourself for the sugar hangover on February 15th. So many holiday treats are delicious but can cause a lot of havoc on your body, making you feel not so great.
But we have the solution for you!
Today we are giving you what you want (chocolate) and what you need (nutrition) combined into one soon to be devoured cupcake.
Read below the key ingredients featured in our Valentine's Day recipe and easy instructions on how to make them in time for love day!
Beets were a mandatory addition to this cupcake recipe. Beetroot is a foolproof way to dye foods without using nasty chemicals and to receive extra nutrition benefits!
Beets are a nutritious source of rich in iron, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and folate and they can support antioxidant pathways and free radical scavenging activity which reduces inflammation in the body. They also are high in nitrates which can help improve cardiovascular health and blood flow (4).
Less inflammation and more nitric oxide mean more oxygen circulated and used by the cell for efficient mitochondria (your energy-producing factories inside of the cell).
For you, this means increased energy, stamina, and an increase in oxygen flow to the sexual organs which may help you feel more in the mood.
Known as a superfood root vegetable, maca is known for its adaptogenic and energizing properties as well as its libido-boosting effects. Maca may help increase sexual desire in men and women by improving erectile dysfunction in men and by improving energy and reducing stress in the body (1).
Maca has also been shown to reduce menopausal symptoms, improve menstruation and fertility, and boost energy levels and physical performance (3). And who doesn't want that!
More research is needed in humans to determine in greater detail how maca affects libido and if it does have an effect on hormones or not. Most of the research done on maca has shown improved menopausal symptoms for women and increased sperm count for men.
You can add maca powder to your smoothies, baked goods, lattes, or take in capsule form if you are not a fan of the taste. Maca comes in a variety of colors such as yellow, red, and black. Yellow is the most popular and can be found in most health food stores. Though their benefits are similar their biological properties may differ depending on the type.
Valentine's day would not be completed without chocolate! But not just any chocolate.
Cacao is minimally processed and thus quite bitter however the benefits are found in the bitterness of the plant. The polyphenols are responsible for the cacao's bitter flavor but also provide the most health benefits as they contain prebiotics and antioxidants.
Dark chocolate has been associated with many positive health outcomes such as improved cardiovascular markers, cognitive function, and blood sugar control.
So why does it make us feel good? Cacao is known as an aphrodisiac as it contains theobromine which acts as a stimulant and increases blood flow. Chocolate also promotes the release of endorphins such as dopamine and serotonin in the brain giving us that oh so good feeling we just can't get enough of.
Your regular ol' chocolate bars you will find at the supermarket, on the other hand, doesn't provide these same benefits as they are usually full of sugars, inflammatory oils, and conventional dairy.
Ideally, you want to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao and lower sugar content. If sugar is the first ingredient that's a sign it has too much!
Receive all the healthy benefits and more from these delicious and easy cupcake recipes for you and your loved one!
Recipe inspired by Feasting on Fruit.
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.