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Top 10 Things That Are Surprisingly Good For You

Jamie Frater

Are you sick of being told what to eat, drink, and do? Then this is your lucky day! Here are ten things that people tell you are bad but actually have healthy aspects to them. In future when someone whines at you – you can point them in the direction of this list and have the last laugh! So onwards, the ten things that are healthier thank you think.

10

Ice Cream

Icecream

Ice-cream is a low GI (glycemic-index) food. This means that it is a slow sugar release food that keeps you satisfied for a longer period of time than a high GI food. For that reason, you are less likely to binge after eating ice-cream. 75 grams of Ben and Jerry’s Cookies and Cream ice-cream contains only 114 calories compared to a slice of cheesecake with 511 calories. Furthermore, ice-cream is made of milk which contains many essential nutrients and vitamins. 1 cup of milk contains up to 30% of a man’s daily recommended intake. Other nutrients in ice-cream are biotin, iodine, potassium, selenium, vitamins a, b12, D, and K. Studies show a possible link between milk consumption and a lowered risk of arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer.

Interesting Fact: In the 5th century BC, the ancient Greeks sold snow cones made with fruit and honey in the markets of Athens.


9

Dirt

Muddykid

Throw away the rubber globes! Dirt is back in vogue! Remember the days where kids played in dirt, food was served with bare hands, and straws didn’t come in individual wrappers? It turns out – they were healthier days than our modern sterile ones! Early childhood exposure to bacteria, viruses, and parasites has been found to give a massive boost to our immune systems, making us less likely to get sick when we do come in to contact with various bugs. Research has found that children with a dog in the home are less likely to suffer allergies, and regular social interaction can reduce the risk of leukemia by up to 30%. Those are statistics not to ignore – so throw away the anti-bacterial cleaners and get dirty!

Interesting Fact: There are as many as 10 times more bacterial cells in the human body than human cells! The vast majority of these are harmless.

8

Stress

Stressman

Stress is universally considered a bad thing – in some cases people have successfully won lawsuits against companies for work-related stress. But, what most people don’t know is that a little stress goes a long way to making us healthier. In short doses, stress can help boost the body’s immune system. In the first stage of stress (the “alarm” stage – often known as the “fight or flight” response) the body produces cortisol – a stress fighting hormone which has many benefits to the body. Stress can give a feeling of fulfillment – when this is the case it is called “eustress” as opposed to “distress”.

Interesting Fact: The term “stress” and the mental properties of it was not known before the 1950s. Until that time it referred simply to hardship or coercion.

7

Caffeine

Cofeecup

Not only is coffee tasty, it is a mild stimulant with many medical uses. Caffeine contains a muscle relaxant that is very beneficial to people with bronchial problems – it can alleviate the symptoms of asthma. Additionally, caffeine releases certain fatty acids in to the blood stream that become a useful source of fuel for muscles. It even seems that the only serious side-effect to too much caffeine is a small amount of body-weight loss – a danger if you are anorexic. Caffeine should be avoided by people with fecal incontinence as it loosens the anal and sphincter muscles.

Interesting Fact: Caffeine can be toxic to animals, in particular dogs, horses, and parrots. It also has a much more significant effect on spiders than humans.

6

Red Wine

Wine

Red wine contains a group of chemicals called polyphenols (once called Vitamin P) which have been found to be very beneficial for health. They reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Wine has also been found to be an effective anti-bacterial agent against strains of Streptococcus (found most often in the human mouth) which can help reduce infections. Some wine varieties have extra health benefits; Cabernet Sauvignon appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition to the benefits already listed, wine is chock full of antioxidants which play a huge role in the health of the human body. The wines found to have the greatest benefits are found in the South of France and the Sardinia region of Italy.

Interesting Fact: Wine originated in the regions of Israel, Georgia, and Iran, around 6000 BC.


5

Chocolate

Chocolate

As a result of recent research into chocolate and health, it appears to be something of a panacea (cure-all) – coupled with the great taste and mood enhancing properties, it might be seen as a wonder drug! Cocoa or dark chocolate improves the overall health of the circulatory system, it stimulates the brain, prevents coughs, prevents diarrhea, and may even be an anti-cancer agent. Like coffee, chocolate is toxic to many animals. A BBC study indicates that melting chocolate in your mouth increases brain activity and the heart rate more intensely than passionate kissing, with the effect lasting four times longer after the activity ends. Eating regular small quantities of chocolate reduces cholesterol and the chances of a heart attack. Sign me up for some of that medication!

Interesting Fact: Chocolate has been used as a drink since at least 1100 – 1400 BC.

4

Cannabis

Pot

Cannabis is said to be beneficial for over 250 conditions. For this reason it is legal on prescription in a number of Western countries. Cannabis is believed to help with arthritis, asthma, depression, glaucoma, and pain. It is also reported to be a good treatment for constipation. Cannabis is also useful in dealing with the sideeffects of treatments for cancer, AIDS, and hepatitis. Cannabis has been used medicinally for over 3,000 years! Strangely, the cultivation and use of cannabis is outlawed in most countries.

Interesting Fact: Evidence of the use of cannabis as a non-medicinal drug exists as charred seeds found in Romania dating back to the 3rd millenium BC.

3

Beer

Beer-1

The moderate consumption of beer has been associated with the lowered risk of head disease, stroke, and mental decline. In addition, brewers yeast (used in the production of beer) contains many nutrients that are carried through to the final drink: magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, and B vitamins. For this reason, beer is sometimes referred to as “liquid bread”. In 2005 a Japanese study found that low-alcohol beer may contain strong anti-cancer properties. Contrary to popular belief, a “beer belly” or “beer gut” is not produced by the beer, but rather overeating and lack of exercise.

Interesting Fact: Beer is one of the oldest beverages – dating back to the 6th millennium BC.

2

Smoking

Smoking

Often referred to as “Smoker’s Paradoxes”, there are a number of therapeutic uses of nicotine or smoking. For example, smokers are less likely to need surgery to provide extra blood to their heart after an angioplasty, the risk of ulcerative colitis is reduced, and it even interferes with the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma (a type of cancer of the lymphatic endothelium). Perhaps most surprisingly, is that there are connections to smoking and a reduction in allergic asthma. There is also a large body of evidence to suggest that smokers have a dramatically reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Nicotine is currently being investigated as a treatment for ADHD, and Schizophrenia.

Interesting Fact: Tobacco smoking has been a practice of humans since at least 5000 BC.

1

Pornography

Pornography

Amidst the loud angry cries against pornography, a few serious scientific studies have been performed on the subject. It seems that men and women who view pornography, have improved sex lives, better sexual knowledge, and an overall better quality of life. Surprisingly, one study found that the more that pornography is viewed, the greater the improvements. In an extensive study performed in Australia, the majority of married respondents stated that they believed that pornography has had a positive effect on their marriage. While clearly not always linked to pornography, studies have found that men who had fewer orgasms were twice as likely to die of any cause as those having two or more orgasms a week.

Interesting Fact: Pornography (and the anti-pornography movement) as it is understood today is a concept of the Victorian era (19th century) which was extremely moralistic. Sexual imagery was not taboo before that time.

Sources:
1. Alzheimer’s disease is associated with non-smoking by Carol Thompson
2. Impact of Smoking on Clinical and Angiographic Restenosis After Percutaneous Coronary by Cohen, David J.; Michel Doucet, Donald E. Cutlip, Kalon K.L. Ho, Jeffrey J. Popma, Richard E. Kuntz
3. Smoking Cuts Risk of Cancer by United Press International
4. Caffeine: Perspectives from Recent Research by P.B. Dews
5. Using spider-web patterns to determine toxicity by R. Noever, J. Cronise, and R. A. Relwani
6. From psychological stress to the emotions: a history of changing outlooks by R. S. Lazarus
7. Effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cognitive function in women. by Stampfer MJ, Kang JH, Chen J, Cherry R, Grodstein F.
8. Beer as liquid bread: Overlapping science by Bamforth, C. W
9. A dynamic partnership: celebrating our gut flora by C. L. Sears
10. Dairy’s Role in Managing Blood Pressure by the National Dairy Council
11. Ice Cream – What’s in a Scoop? by Pat Kendall
12. The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age by Richard Rudgely
13. Medical Use of Cannabis in California by Dale Gieringer
14. Dark Chocolate Could Help Hearts by Emma Ross
15. Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain by Marjorie Ingall
16. Chocolate better than kissing by BBC News
17. Polyphenols and disease risk in epidemiologic studies by Arts, I.C. and P.C. Hollman
18. Antibacterial Activity of Red and White Wine against Oral Streptococci by Daglia, M.; A. Papetti, P. Grisoli, C. Aceti, C. Dacarro, and G. Gazzani
19. Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine Reduces The Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease by ScienceDaily
20. From red wine to polyphenols and back: A journey through the history of the French Paradox by D. W. de Lange
21. Now that’s what you call a real vintage: professor unearths 8,000-year-old wine by David Keys
22. Vice or Virtue? The Pros of Pornography by Matthew Hutson
23. Study concludes porn can be good for you by Nick Grimm
24. Sex and Death, Are They Related? by the British Medical Journal

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the founder of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and cooking. He is fascinated with all things morbid and bizarre.

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