Do you ever feel guilty for doing what you love? Or, not doing what you hate? Or, is it difficult teaching patients what they cannot have and what they must do? Does it seem like all the good stuff is bad for us? Research informs us that it is not, so let’s take a look at that and consider a positive approach to good health. Here is a list of things we love that are good for us:
- HAVE FUN. Research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has linked happiness and good health! People who have more positive emotions tend to lead longer, healthier lives, even when genetic and other factors are controlled-for. “It’s essentially the key to vitality, which gives us energy and strength and hope. It’s something that most of us strive for and come up short.”
- EAT CHOCOLATE. Dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants. In moderation, consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease including decreasing LDL and increasing HDL, and possibly lowering blood pressure by promotion of nitric acid release in the blood vessels. Did you know that in one study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 50% over 15 years (Boujisse, 2016). DeJousse (2016) found that eating chocolate two or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaques in the arteries by 32%, while eating chocolate less frequently had no effect. In 2016, the Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute Family Study demonstrated that eating dark chocolate more than 5 times per week lowered the risk of heart disease by 57%. Other studies suggest that dark chocolate can protect skin from the sun, and improve brain function in the elderly by promoting blood flow.
- DRINK COFFEE. We love our coffee and it has been criticized over the years. However, recent studies have found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of heart disease or cancer. In fact, some studies have found an association between coffee consumption and decreased overall mortality and possibly cardiovascular mortality. Apparently, the old research failed to control for high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, which are more common among heavy coffee drinkers. Current research shows that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.
- HAVE SEX. Having sex is good for us! It improves our humoral immunity, according to research conducted at Wiles University. Sexual activity has also been shown to boost libido, lower blood pressure, improve bladder control, and decrease risk of heart disease. After all, it is exercise! “Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert, quoted on WebMD. Sexual activity causes our bodies to release endorphin, endogenous morphine that relieves pain. It also causes us to release prolactin, the hormone responsible for the feeling of relaxation and sleepiness, a real stress-buster!
- DRINK IN MODERATION. We have all heard about red wine’s heart-healthy benefits. People who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, seem to have a lower risk of heart disease. And, not just red wine. Studies show that a moderate intake of any form of alcohol has positive effects on our health by increasing HDL, reducing clot formation, and promoting healthy endothelium.
So, there are a lot of things we love that are actually good for us! Let’s enjoy them and share them with others. Disclaimer: Individual medical situations may dictate otherwise.
Mahalo for all you do!
For more information visit
Alcohol: Potential Risks & Benefits https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551
(15).Cocoa intake, blood pressure, and cardiovascular mortality: the Zutphen Elderly Study. Buijsse B, Feskens EJ, Kok FJ, Kromhout D. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Feb 27;166(4):411-7.
Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: the NHLBI Family Heart Study. Djoussé L1, Hopkins PN, Arnett DK, Pankow JS, Borecki I, North KE, Curtis Ellison R.
Coffee Consumption & Health Implications https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/ebook/978-1-78801-497-7
Psychological & Physical Benefits of Having Fun https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201705/goofing-psychological-physical-benefits-having-fun
The Surprising Benefits of Sex https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/health_benefits_sex
Disclaimer: Individual medical situations may dictate otherwise.