Another excellent excuse to eat ice cream.

Credit: Photo © Laura La Monaca

Who says superfoods can’t taste delicious? Italian cardiologist Valerio Sanguigni claims he's created gelato that could help you live longer and work out harder.

Sanguigni, a professor at The University of Rome Tor Vergata, has developed three flavors of ice cream (chocolate, hazelnut and green tea) that contain high levels of antioxidants, which can help improve heart health, prevent disease and even improve physical performance. According to Sanguigni, many superfoods lose their antioxident properties during transit and cooking. However, foods that have low, controlled temperatures (like gelato) are ideal for conserving those antioxidants.

To test the antioxidant dessert, Sanguigni had participants take blood tests before and after consuming the gelato (with some given a standard chocolate ice cream placebo). After sampling the gelato, participants were asked to pedal as fast as they could on an exercise bike. The study showed that Sanguigni’s patented version improved vascular function and physical performance, while the regular ice cream did not.

While you can’t find it at your local gelateria yet, here are some terrific heart-healthy recipes to try right now.