Unhealthy Things (You Didn’t Know Were Good For You)

One missing, oops.

The key to healthy living is moderation. All things should be in moderation, including moderation. So sometimes it’s a good idea to go all out. Remember, it’s possible to poison yourself with water, so too much of anything is a bad thing. But there are plenty of things we swear off as being unhealthy which, in the right amounts, can actually be a boost to your health!

So, why not have yourself a little

Chocolate
This article’s readership just dropped by 50% because half of it just saw this section header and went and crammed six Easter eggs into their face. For the rest of you: Chocolate is chock (get it? CHOCK?) full of flavonols, and antioxidant that has been shown to prevent some kinds of cancer and help prevent arteries clogging. Some studies even suggest that chocolate increases the blood flow to the brain, so it could potentially help ward off dementia. The trick is to make sure that you’re eating chocolate with a high cocoa content and lower levels of sugar. If you look around there are plenty of low fat recipes for chocolate dishes that use dark, high cocoa chocolate.

Of course, all these studies are totally reliable, because there’s no way that science journalists would wilfully misinterpret evidence to draw the conclusion we should all stuff ourselves with chocolate, is there?

Red Wine

Healthy and wellbeing sites (and the Daily Mail) have been in constant war over the good or badness of red wine for years. In the parts of the world where people’s hearts are consistently healthiest (namely, the French) red wine is a staple of people’s diets. It’s been credited with everything from artery protecting to anti-cancer qualities. Dishes made from low fat recipes serves with some red wine can be a healthy evening meal!

The key to its health benefits is supposedly found in the skin of red wine grapes, in the form of an anti-oxident called resveratol, which has been linked t everything from a reduction in gum disease and Alzheimer’s to greater levels of endurance.

Sunlight

Like red wine, we’ve had a love-hate relationship with the sun over the years. A century ago the fashion was stay as pasty as possible, with the implication being that only poor people had to work in the sun. Then at some point over the last 100 odd years it became fashionable to have a tan. Then we all suddenly realised that, thanks to our burning away to ozone layer, staying in the sun was giving people cancer, and now we’re terrified of it again.

However, in moderation it sunlight gives us things we need to live. Asthmatics have been shown to benefit from measured doses of ultraviolet rays, suppressing the immune reactions that cause asthma in studies with mice. That’s as well as giving you valuable Vitamin D and helping fend off afternoon drowsiness in office works. Still, sun cream never hurt anyone.

Coffee

There’s almost no point in writing this entry, because half of you are convinced that you need coffee to live, or at least function like anything more mobile than a shambling zombie. As with many of the other bad-but-good-for-you things on this list, antioxidants are the secret ingredient. Studies have indicated it could lower your risk of diabetes, ease the onset of cirrhosis of the liver and pancreatitis.

Beer

My personal favourite on this list. Common sense says that red wine is the healthy alternatives to beer. While on the one hand this is true, beer guts are a thing that happens and beer rarely comes with healthy low fat recipes. But new research has suggested that a moderate intake of beer could actually improve your cardiovascular function. Of course, there’s that word “moderate” again…

Attached Images:  License: Creative Commons image source

Sam Wright is a freelance writer who loves chocolate, beer, wine, coffee and sunlight, so is pleased to find that all these are good for him.

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