INTRO. We all need a little pick-me-up when the air begins to chill, flowers fade, and leaves fall. Just in time for the weekend, read below on how some of your favorite vices can do great things for your health. You’re welcome.
Red Wine is Good for Your Heart.
Studies show that the antioxidants in red wine increase “good” cholesterol, lower the “bad” and prevent artery damamge. These antioxidants also preserve a youthful appearance and allow the release of more energy. Red wine also has a natural compound which lowers glucose levels in the blood, which can help diabetics regulate their blood sugar. Cheers!
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Chocolate… Is Kind of a Superfood?
Chocolate increases blood flow, which can improve vision, cognition, and libido. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate also has antioxidants and fibers which prevent blood clots, protect skin from UV rays, curb hunger, and help calm a persistent cough. Studies also found chocolate decreases stress, as well as increases insulin sensitivity, which reduces your risk for diabetes.
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Naps: Not Just for Toddlers Anymore.
Studies show that nap time, when utilized properly, can be hugely beneficial for adults the same way it is for children. Naps allow you to replenish leptin levels, the hormone that makes you feel full, eradicating the temptation towards afternoon snacking. Naps also reduce stress, replenish your libido, and refresh the creative parts of the brain.
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Nuts rich in vitamin E can prevent dementia and other cognitive decline. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, vitamin B, and magnesium, which can stabilize your immune system, especially when the body is already stressed. Hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts and cashews are all rich in arginine, an amino acid that relieves tension in the blood vessels. Walnuts improve sperm quality. Pistachios contain a specific E vitamin that protects against lung cancer and reduces the chance of erectile dysfunction.
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Massages Combat Nerve and Joint Damage.
Aside from the obvious appeal of relaxation, various massage practices all offer their own set of medical benefits. Swedish massages use tapping motions to energize you, deep tissue massages remedy tissue damage, reducing pain from injuries. Other various trigger-point and sports massage practices offer specialized concentration on both surface and inner injuries that increase blood flow, regulate digestive problems and treat anxiety. The physical contact has also been found to relieve depression, lower blood pressure, and increase levels of oxytocin, a hormone that combats inflammatory and autoimmune issues. So make an appointment at the spa without guilt, or tell your hubby the fate of your health lies in his hands giving you a back massage.
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Make Some Furry Friends.
The health benefits of animals are endless. If you don’t have a pet of your own to play with, go to the zoo, or get a friend with a barking companion to meet you at the dog park. The CDC says just petting and interacting with animals can decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol by decreasing triglyceride levels, and treat depression. The exercise and socialization that goes along with outdoor activities to entertain your pet also decreases depression and sharpens congition.
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It’s Good to Get a Little Wild.
Romanticism decreases stress, curbs depression, cures headaches, boosts your immune system and improves cognition. Kissing cleans bacteria off your teeth, and tightens face muscles, preventing wrinkles. Sex sparks an exponential calorie burn, improves cardiovascular health, and releases endorphins and oxytocin, two hormones that boost your mood and ward off anxiety and depression. Active sack sessions can energize you by sharpening perception, while the endorphins released in more laid-back sessions relaxes the mind and body and brings more restful sleep.
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Your Friends are Saving Your Life.
Studies have shown that having a strong friend group lowers depression, and decreases anxiety and risky behavior. The fondness and companionship of friends also boosts self-esteem and provides a support system that improves emotional cognition and capacity to manage stress. Some cancer studies have also found that patients with a strong friend support system outlive those that don’t. A study by Bringham Young University also found that not having friends affects your longevity as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So save work for the office and book that lunch date for your health!
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