For most of us, Halloween is all about the candy. While we may try to eat healthy the rest of the year, this holiday provides us with the perfect opportunity to indulge our sweet tooth with wild abandon. But along with all that wild abandon can come some guilt. After all, candy is bad for you, right?
According to Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., a health psychologist at Stanford University, there are actually some health benefits to eating candy. In fact, some of your favorite treats have what she calls “candy superpowers,” possessing the ability ability to leap mounds of guilt in a single bound. So, grab a handful of your favorite sweet treat and enjoy!
1. People who eat candy live longer. They can’t explain exactly why, but researchers at Harvard School of Public Health say that people who eat candy on a regular basis live longer than those who don’t. While they may not have an explanation for this, I suspect it has something to do with happiness. Eating candy makes you happy and happy people live longer.
2. Sugar provides willpower. Studies show that a shot of sugar has the power to help you power through difficult tasks, maintain focus and even delay gratification. Probably because you know there’s more candy waiting for you at the other end.
3. Chewing gum can do everything! Studies have found that chomping on a stick of gum can improve your memory, help you concentrate and sharpen your focus. It can also reduce feelings of stress, help you manage your weight and even improve your oral health. Experts say the mood boost you get from chewing gum has to do with increased serotonin levels but I think it’s just because it’s fun and tastes good
4. Chocolate is good for your heart and more. Studies have found that regular consumption of dark chocolate can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. It not only stimulates the endorphins that make you feel good, but it also contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant. It might even have anti-cancer benefits! If chocolate could wash my car and unload the dishwasher, I think I’d marry it.
5. Cotton candy can help grow new blood vessels. This one is kind of odd, but apparently true. Researchers have been using the fluffy spun sugar treat to create artificial blood vessel molds which they then use to grow new tissues to use in fixing damaged human body parts. So weird and so delicious!
So there you have it. Five good reasons to not feel guilty about dipping into your kid’s candy stash this Halloween. Hope this helps!
Image: terren in Virginia/Flickr
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