It has been known for some time that chocolate (particularly antioxidant-rich dark chocolate) can help reduce blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol. A recent study suggests that while chocolate may be high in calories, it also contains ingredients which promote weight loss, if consumed in moderation. "The findings come from a study of nearly 1,000 US people that looked at diet, calorie intake, and body mass index (BMI) ~ a measure of obesity. It found that those who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it [only] occasionally." The findings held true even when other factors like exercise were taken into account.
Naturally, a healthy diet and regular exercise remain critical in achieving fitness. But it's nice to know that, like red wine, dark chocolate may actually be good for us.
More good news ~ it seems that before penicillin, the application of honey was a conventional therapy for infection. Due to its antimicrobial healing powers, both internally and externally, honey is slowly regaining favor in mainstream medicine. The article lists several medicinal uses for pure, raw honey, including ~
- promoting the growth of friendly bacteria in your intestinal tract
- promoting the healing of wounds
- promoting heart health
- taming allergies
- helping fight viruses and alien bacteria
Not just any honey will do, however. Heavily processed and refined honey, such as that sold in grocery stores, will likely increase infection, whether applied topically or ingested. Raw honey is better. Best of all is Manuka honey from New Zealand. While raw, natural honey releases hydrogen peroxide, explaining its general antiseptic qualities, Manuka honey contains an added compound, methylglyocal, which appears to elevate its antibacterial qualities.
Rest assured that you can continue to drip, pour, or rub regular honey on your body, with the right partner(s) to lick it off, for a wondrous sense of well-being.
Which leads us to another link between sensuality and health ~ A.V. Flox's report on research linking exercise and orgasm among women. The results "are based on a survey of 24 women who reported reaching orgasm by exercising, and 246 women who reported experiencing sexual pleasure during exercising. The women surveyed were between 18 and 63 years old. Most were married or in a relationship, and 69 percent described themselves as heterosexual.
"Of the women who orgasmed while working out, 45 percent did so while working out their abdominal muscles, or 'core' (hence the term 'coregasm'). 19 percent climaxed while biking or spinning. 9.3 did so while climbing rope or a pole, 7 did so while lifting weights, another 7 percent did so while running, and the rest broke down among doing yoga, swimming, working on elliptical machines, doing aerobics, and a few others. A whopping 45 percent of the women surveyed reported having their first exercise-induced orgasm while working out their abdominal muscles.
"Some 40 percent of the women surveyed had experienced either orgasm or sexual pleasure while working out on more than ten occasions. Most of the women who reached orgasm were not fantasizing about sexual situations at any time before climaxing. 20 percent indicated to researchers that they could not control their climaxes .... Open-ended questions in the survey seemed to suggest that orgasm was more likely to occur after several sets of abdominal exercises, rather than within a couple of repetitions."
A woman I met in a dance class (and later became intimate with) told me that she reached spontaneous orgasms during the class. One can only wonder how many other settings there may be for unexpected (and unsuspected by others) sexual release. Surely more than are available to men, which hardly seems fair. Ah well, we men still have dark chocolate and honey.