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Vices...That Are Good for You?

There are many people who like to drink on a weekend, or are a little obsessed with chocolate or coffee, but at the end of the day we're only human! Not all addictions can be bad though, CHI looks at some vices that are good for us.


It is human nature to need vices or crutches to assist us in coping with difficult situations. After a tough day at the office, stopping off at the local pub for happy hour is the perfect way to unwind. Some women, after a difficult break-up, lean on a box of chocolates or dig a spoon into a bowl of rocky road ice cream to ease the pain. Reaching for a cigarette can be a vice for dealing with stress. The vices we lean on are not always the smartest choices. However, some vices are not as bad as most think, and might even be a benefit to the body.

Dark Chocolate

On Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Mother’s day, anniversaries, etc., receiving a box of chocolates is a common gift. It is an indulgence that most people welcome with a tinge of guilt. There are negative thoughts conjured  to the pleasure of this sinfully delectable treat, with the guilt of adding those extra pounds to the scale.

Fortunately, for the choc-a-holics, dark chocolate has been found to provide wellness to the body. First, serotonin is part of the makeup of dark chocolate which assists in endorphin production making it a natural antidepressant. In addition to helping putting us in a better mood, dark chocolate also contains antioxidants which are an important to our body’s makeup and abolishing diseases.  

Caffeine is also in chocolate that can aid people who suffer from “chronic fatigue syndrome” or a medical condition where a person is always tired and lacks energy. Surprisingly enough, there are still more benefits to eating chocolate. Eating a little bit of dark chocolate daily can help lower the bad cholesterol and blood pressure. With medical proof, you can now enjoy that delectable dark chocolate without the tinge of guilt.

Alcohol

We have all heard how alcohol is bad for the body. Shockingly, there is proof to the contrary. Research has discovered that, “people who never drink do not live as long, as people who have a couple of drinks a day." In the United States, the Mayo Clinic has conducted extensive research addressing the concerns of overindulgence of alcohol consumption. However, the study did prove that limiting the alcohol consumption to an average of two drinks per day can help the positives from outweighing the negatives. The Clinical research also discovered that “moderate consumption” of liquor can lower the possibilities of getting gallstones, diabetes, heart attacks and heart disease. 

Visiting the lifestyles of the Italians and French cultures, they have divulged the miraculous secrets of drinking red wine, their countries have lower heart issues. The “secret" is the wine aids in lowering a person’s cholesterol, by "scraping" out the arteries with the use of antioxidants found this beverage, as it lowers the prospects of acquiring any heart issues.

According to an Alzheimer’s study, the ethanol found in the alcohol’s chemical makeup can cause a reduction in the chances of acquiring the “onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease”. There’s more... Diabetes researchers discovered that drinking alcohol in small amounts can decrease the chances of developing type-2 diabetes, as it helps the body regulate insulin and glucose levels. It is a known fact that alcohol is a depressant. This fact allows the body to experience an escape from stress, as it relaxes the body. In conclusion, it is ok to have a few drinks.  There’s no need to feel too guilty, as long as it is not in excess... your liver won’t get mad.

Sun

Can the sun become hazardous to our health? This answer is yes, in the example of an individual being a "sun worshiper" or a "beach bunny" and sunbathing for numerous hours until they are “golden brown”. The term "sunshine" is not a cause to run and hide nor to be horrified by being out within the sunlight. Research has identified the other extreme of people cowering away from the light of the sun can also be the other extreme, "just as dangerous". The sun's ultraviolet rays are needed for our bodies to produce the much needed vitamin D.

Lack of Vitamin D may also cause one to feel depressed, worn down on gloomy rainy sunless days, as the feeling of tiredness and sluggishness take over. Removing ourselves from the sun can cause a dangerously severe epidemic in vitamin D deficiency, and in some ways is worse than avoiding skin cancer.

An abundance of studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency and lack of sunshine are correlated with an increase in diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, failing immune system, brain issues, dementia, and many other health related concerns. On the other hand, studies have revealed some exposure to the sun, will allow the body to produce Vitamin D and this has actually helped some patients suffering with cancer and moved them into remissions.  

Vitamin D can help increase brain health, kill bacteria, help in strengthening bones, and can even improve the condition of your teeth. Not only that, but also can lower blood pressure, "cleans" the blood, adds oxygen to the blood vessels, decreases cholesterol, lessens asthma, clears the skin, reinforces the immune system, and aids in losing weight. The sun and vitamin D will also help children grow, hence having children drink whole milk fortified with vitamin D. The UV rays also mentally assists in making us feel so much more happier on sunny days. So, relax in the warmth the sun provides, just don’t over do it.

Sleep

“Sleeping in” has been considered to be childish behavior and an indulgent waste of a day. However, specialists have concluded that sleep is very important for your body. Hibernating in under the covers toughen the body by re energizing it, revitalizing the immune system, recharging the memory, and even assisting in weight loss. Limiting the hours of sleeps is not the smartest decision.  It can result in a person making inaccurate decisions, presenting anxiety, and creating depression.

Mentally visualize struggling through the day with three hours of sleep. Your body seems to be dragging, you are struggling to keep your eyes wide open, which in itself is a good reason to strive for the recommended six to eight hours of sleep. On the more riskier side, there can be stiff repercussions to your health. The absence of sleep has been jointed to some types of diabetes, elevated blood pressure, storing of body fat and heart disease by various sleep clinics. So, sleep in...rest up...listen to your body...your health depends on it!

Anti-low-fat

In more recent years, comments from medical professionals have been encouraging the public to reach for the healthier labels attached to our food products such as, "low-fat, fat-free, diet, low calories, unsweetened", products. If the truth be told, you do not need to deprive yourself of tasteless foods. Proof has been produced that some full-fat foods can be more healthier for you. Here is a little secret, the wisest way to eat these "full-fat foods" would be in "proper portions". Researchers have investigated how fats affect the body. This research indicated our bodies “desire” monounsaturated fats and it requires these good fats to be at least “ten percent of of our dietary consumption." The monounsaturated fats will help to "reduce the opportunity of developing heart disease and strokes."

The key to identifying the good fats is simple. They become softer and more liquefied, as they adjust to the room temperatures, but once these items are subjected to cooler temperatures one will discover, they become more solid. Other contributors are olives, avocados, nuts (like almonds and cashews), seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin), and butters.

Omega-3 is another “good fat”. Sources would be fish, oils, and nuts. Consuming Omega-3 can help decrease symptoms of depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. Egg yolks do contain a lot of cholesterol, but regulating the intake can be beneficial as well. The yolk holds choline  (a type of vitamin B) that can improve the health of the brain, the nerves, and the heart. Having the knowledge of the good fats to eat will increase the health benefits of your body.

Coffee

Coffee fanatics REJOICE! For those who need their jolt of caffeine to make it through the day, there A LOT of positives to this addiction. In the battle of heart disease, drinking that coffee may help you. The Japanese have medically discovered that a daily dose of two cups of coffee can actually decrease the risk of “dying from heart disease by thirty-eight percent."  Numerous research from the USA, Finland, and Sweden has proven that coffee drinking is associated with lowering the possibilities for developing brain illness like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease.

The good news keeps coming. Another study coming from the United States at Harvard University indicated consuming coffee would prevent you from developing type-two diabetes. This discovery indicated that for each cup of coffee ingested daily, the body would drop its chances by seven percent, because the "chemicals in  your coffee can improve the body's insulin sensitivity and it will also help to increase your metabolism."

More independent research on liver diseases conducted by Mexico, Italy, France, China and the United States points out that drinking coffee can assist in improving liver functions. This means we can comfortably feel the chances of reducing liver cancer, Cirrhosis, and other fatty liver ailments with a fighting chance. In addition, the AARP agency based in the United States has published evidence  that "drinking coffee can lower the death risk”.

Through their experiments AARP discovered, "their volunteers drinking five cups of coffee per day, actually achieved approximately twelve percent more active life." Further studies revealed a higher tolerance of pain from coffee drinkers, as well as an increased attention span, a more accurate memory retention, and an increase of weight loss. Coffee drinkers also have fewer strokes, cancers and heart rhythm issues. Basically, coffee is... good for you.

So, go on have “crutches”.  You are actually improving your health and life.

 

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