Some things that we often feel guilty for doing, actually have benefits for our body and mind...
There are many things in life that we are made to feel guilty for doing. From the food we eat to way we organize our day, some of these ‘guilty’ acts are actually good for the body and mind.
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants…
According to Jordan Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Maker’s Diet, dark chocolate is not only full of antioxidants, it also releases endorphins and serotonin which act as antidepressants.
Experts also advise that just eating a couple of chunks of high-quality dark chocolate can help curb your craving for other sweet things.
For another healthy bonus, go organic, too: “Regular chocolate is sprayed with heavy pesticides that we end up consuming,” Rubin says.
Red meat is not all bad…
While consuming lots of red meat can lead to obesity, high cholesterol and even colon cancer, experts now advise that a little red meat is actually good for you.
“Some beef fat is monounsaturated, which is the kind of fat that is good for you and actually helps lower LDL, or bad cholesterol, like the kind found in olive oil and avocado,” says George Faison, COO of DeBragga and Spitler and owner of DeBragga.com, an online purveyor of high-quality meats.
Meat from grass-fed cattle is also lower in saturated fat than conventionally raised beef and has more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and conjugated linoleic acid – all healthy, beneficial components.
According to the American Meat Institute, there are 29 cuts of lean beef that have fewer calories and are leaner than the same size serving of salmon.
Sometimes we need to sunbath…
While the suns damaging effects on our skin are highly publicized, the body actually welcomes a certain amount of the suns rays as they helps generate much-needed vitamin D.
“Vitamin D is necessary because it helps you absorb calcium, which everyone needs,” says Alexandra Fingesten, MD, a doctor of internal medicine affiliated with New York University. “If you’re working inside all day, it’s important to get outside, even for a little bit. And consult with your doctor about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.”
Just don’t forget your sunblock, even for short stints in the sun.
A little stress is good for you…
A lot of stress can lead to health problems, but a little positive stress “can motivate you into action and clear the mind,” says Judith Orloff, MD, author of Emotional Freedom and a psychiatrist at UCLA.
Good stress is defined as a short burst of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. This is the kind of stress that has helped actor and musicians give their best performances, and brides plan the most elaborate weddings.
“The stress hormones help make you more present, so you are sharper.”
Multi-tasking is a way to increase productivity…
Some might say that multi-tasking dilutes your focus. But for others, the increased productivity helps in achieving at task at hand.
“I know people whose multitasking energizes and stimulates them and makes them feel at the top of their game,” says Dr. Orloff.
That’s the case for Jim Sexton, CEO of Z-Line Designs, who employs thousands of people around the globe, sponsors NASCAR and Indy Car teams, and typically focuses on 20 or 30 design projects a day.
“That’s the way I work and thrive,” says Sexton, whose schedule often results in his having had dinner in five different states in as many days. “I’ve always been this way.”
Coffee can help reduce risk of kidney stones…
While keeping your caffeine consumption under control is highly advisable, Walter Willett, MD, author of Eat Drink and Be Healthy, says coffee helps decrease the risk of kidney stones (because of its diuretic components) and gallstones (as it prevents stone formation).
Coffee also contains antioxidants which have been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and has antidepressant properties.
“It helps elevate serotonin and dopamine in the body and boosts your mood,” says Dr. Orloff. However, she warns against drinking more than three cups a day: “It can burn out your gastric lining.”
Wine is full of antioxidants…
Many have heard that glass of wine a day is good for you. This is because “the resveratrol found in wine is a powerful antioxidant that is stronger than antioxidant vitamins,” says Richard Baxter, MD, a physician and author of Age Gets Better with Wine.
And in The Red Wine Diet, scientist Roger Corder reveals that certain red wines from the southwest of France are more beneficial for living a longer, healthy life.
Wines made from the tannat grape there have the highest levels of procyanidins (responsible for keeping blood vessels clear and preventing heart disease) than any another wine in the world.
Computers can be an active workout too….
With the release of the Nintendo Wii, computer games suddenly jumped out of the couch-potato realm and into the world of fitness. But now a leisurely round on your favorite game can be a real workout.
“Before the Wii, who ever worked up a sweat playing a video game in their living room?” says Paul Bragan, executive director at Wakefield Research, a leading gaming researcher. “Using a wireless controller, you can bowl and play baseball and tennis all from your family room.”
“Last year, a British magazine revealed that Queen Elizabeth became an avid video gamer after joining her grandson Prince William in a game of Wii,” says Bragan. “I’d call that a royal vote of confidence.”
Chewing gum is good for your oral health…
Although chewing gum might be seen as an annoying childish habit, a Readers Digest report that interviewed 25 dentist showed that xylitol (a sugar substitute found in chewing gum) reduces bacteria and changes the chemistry of your mouth
Six or seven pieces of xylitol gum every day will help keep cavities away. “And chewing gum triggers saliva, which also aids in preventing cavities,” says the magazine’s deputy editor, Lisa Davis.
Just be sure to keep your chewing volume down and dispose of the gum properly to avoid being annoying.
Shouting at your children isn’t all bad…
Some parenting experts say that it’s important to let off a little steam and show your kids when you are angry with them.
“Sometimes children do things to make you angry. They need to understand the consequences, and you have to be more stern and harsh to reinforce the message,” says Bennett Leventhal, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.
“While as a guide, we don’t want to yell at our children, especially with routine communication, in an emergency or crisis, yelling is good to gain their attention. But afterward you should always explain why you were angry.”
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