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Newsflash: What's Bad May Be Good For You

Who hasn't bemoaned their inability to drink endless cups of coffee, glasses of wine, bars of chocolate? Who hasn't wished they didn't have to worry so much about their spare tire? Who is tired of worrying so much?

Is an occasional glass of wine really so bad?

Well, me, for one. And, I've got good news for you. According to the Internet, and the various researchers and writers therein, there are a lot of things out there that we thought were bad, and which apparently are good (or at the very least, not so bad.)

Chocolate

We all know that there are health benefits to chocolate.  Not waxy Easter chocolate, mind you, but good quality dark chocolate.  One of the ingredients in this treat are flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties.  Positive effects on the health associated with flavonoids have always pointed towards cardiovascular health and the lowering of blood pressure. But, now, studies are showing that flavonols may also help boost brain health for seniors. Also encouraging are results from Sweden that have shown that milk chocolate (previously the sad cocoa cousin) may lower stroke risk.  All very encouraging for those of us with a sweet tooth.

Red Wine

The fact that a little vino is healthy is not a new concept.  The joyous beverage contains resveratrol, an anti-oxidant that has been linked to multitudes of health benefits, including it's anti-aging properties.  But, now, it's being seen to help with motor balance  and agility, and could prevent falls in the elderly (or clumsy people like me).  This is great news.

Coffee

I love my java and was completely thrilled to hear that there are proven health benefits associated with drinking coffee. Apparently there are more than 1000 compounds in this popular drink that might be important to keeping us healthy.  The newest evidence shows that consumption can prevent Bowel Cancer and that the caffeine in coffee may help Parkinson's patients.  But, there are other proven pluses to your daily cup such as it's identity as an antioxidant, it's ability to lower insulin and estrogen levels (helping with endometrial and prostate cancer) and that it may prevent heart disease.  So, drink up!

Muffin Top

The muffin top is that fancy roll of jiggle that hangs out just above your waistband, and which is easily squeezed up like an overflowing tube of toothpaste by moderately tight clothing. There's nothing hot about a muffin top.  Or, so we've always thought.  According to an article on Chatelaine.com, there are hidden benefits of the Muffin Top.  Apparently visceral fat (that which lays under the muscles and surrounds the organs) may interact in a positive way with the autoimmune system.   Also, Chatelaine reports:
This kind of deep abdominal fat contains other kind of cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells that further aid overall healthThese stem cells are important because they possess the power to become other kinds of healthy cells in the body. In a sense they act as the equivalent of travelling EMTs, too, repairing injured tissues in other parts of the body with healthy new cells.

 Yay!-ish.  Keep in mind that docs aren't recommending we gain weight. There are known health issues with belly fat.  What they are saying that while you have it, your bit of extra pudge may be doing the body a bit of good.

Our thoughts?   Take these benefits with a grain of...sugar.  Drink, eat, and jiggle. But, just remember, moderation is the spice of life.  Or is it Cayenne?  Because, you know, that spice is good for you.

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Are you surprised to learn the health benefits of chocolate, wine, coffee and muffin tops? How do you maintain a balance between satisfying your cravings and your overall health? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Related:

Fighting Inflammation With Food

Exercise Your Sense of Balance to Prevent Falls

Seniors and Cancer






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