L The List
- 10Ice-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.
DirtThrow 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.
StressStress 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.
- 7Not 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.
- 6Red 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.
- 5As 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.