Are you tired of being told about the things you must avoid doing to stay healthy? Do you get sick of hearing that most of life’s enjoyable indulgences are bad for you? If so, here’s some good news. Some things we thought were naughty turn out not to be so terrible after all – in moderation, of course.
For example, drinking alcohol can not only ease the symptoms of University of Sheffield The University of Sheffield is a research university, located in Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. Reputation
Sheffield was the Sunday Times University of the Year in 2001 and has consistently appeared as their top 20 institutions. .
Other so-called bad habits have surprising health benefits. Here is a selection… (1)Drinking booze We know heavy drinking causes liver damage, raises the level of fats linked to heart disease in your blood, and may increase your risk of breast cancer and other health problems.
But that doesn’t mean the odd drink is bad for you. In fact light drinking can stave off some of the very health problems that heavy boozing creates.
As well as the news that it can ease rheumatoid arthritis, we also know that moderate alcohol consumption – particularly of red wine – lowers the risk of heart attacks.
It appears to raise bad cholesterol bad cholesterol LDL-cholesterol Cardiovascular disease Cholesterol transported in the circulation by low-density lipoprotein, the elevation of which is directly related to the risk of CAD and cholesterol-related morbidity See LDL-cholesterol. Cf Good cholesterol. .
GET THE BENEFIT WITHOUT THE BAD: Enjoy a glass of red wine three or four times a week.
(2)Eating chocolate We’ve known for some time that dark chocolate contains iron and lots of antioxidants that are good for us, and last month it was also found to have health benefits for pregnant women.
Researchers at Yale University in the US found that expectant mums who nibbled chocolate three times a week halved their risk of colon cancer colon cancer, cancer of any part of the colon (often called the large intestine). Colon cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. and Alzheimer’s – and it may even lessen your chance of developing diabetes.
GET THE BENEFIT WITHOUT THE BAD: Stick to between one and three cups of coffee daily for your best chance to reap health benefits without the downsides.
(4)Chewing gum If you confine your gum chewing to sugar-free versions, your habit could help prevent overuse overuse Health care The common use of a particular intervention even when the benefits of the intervention don’t justify the potential harm or cost–eg, prescribing antibiotics for a probable viral URI. Cf Misuse, Underuse. of chemicals used in house cleaning can increase the chance that children will develop asthma. This is because being exposed to everyday bacteria stimulates the developing immune system and helps prevent allergies developing. So a little dirt is good for us.
GET THE BENEFIT WITHOUT THE BAD: Keep your home clean and tidy – especially kitchen surfaces – but lay off the harsh antibacterial cleaning products.
(7)Stressing out You may battle against stress and too much, for a prolonged period, is linked to a number of health problems from increased risk of heart disease to depression.
However, there’s a bright side to a little bit of stress. Researchers at sacculus sacculus /sac·cu·lus/ (sak´u-lus) pl. sac´culi [L.] saccule.
pl. sacculi [L.] a saccule. , which responds to the beat in music.
This releases feel-good endorphins in the brain which make us feel happy and more relaxed.
GET THE BENEFIT WITHOUT THE BAD: Use your common sense and don’t listen to very loud music every day.
Enjoy going to concerts guilt-free, but be careful with earphones as they can encourage you to play music louder than you realise in a bid to drown out background noise. Buy a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so you’re not tempted to crank up the volume too high.