Eat Candy. Live Longer.

There’s a scene in the movie Sleeper.
Woody Allen plays the owner of a health food store who is cryogenically frozen in 1973 and defrosted by a pair of scientists 200 years later…

Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”
Dr. Aragon: Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or . . . hot
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy . . . precisely the opposite
of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.

Yes to butter, no to soy. Or is it yes to soy?
Who can keep track?
We’ve seen good foods gone bad— think of tuna and margarine; and we’ve seen coffee, red wine, and chocolate become the new health foods. Now we’re learning that people who eat candy live longer and lead healthier lives than those who abstain.

Candy eaters weigh less and have smaller waistlines. They are at lower risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Chocoholics in particular have significantly improved cardiovascular health, while peppermint lovers have tougher immune systems and fewer digestive disorders.

In multiple, multi-decade studies conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, the USDA, and others, health benefits couldn’t be explained by age, gender, weight, exercise, smoking, diet, or family history. It all points to the candy.

The act of repetitive chomping on something chewy can increase serotonin levels that can improve your mood, reduce stress, increase your mental focus, and block pain. Make it something sweet and chewy, and it’s known to help you persevere longer on difficult tasks, delay gratification, and restore willpower. In other words, candy can help you stay on a diet.

Do yourself a favor and unwrap a Hershey’s bar or pop some gummis. Life is sweet.

Data referenced can be found in the February 2011 issue of Nutrition Research; and Life is Sweet: candy consumption and longevity.


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2 Responses to Eat Candy. Live Longer.

  1. G Martin says:

    Hey, hey, some good news at last for those of us who have a sweet tooth.

    I’ve always maintained that chocolate or sweets, in moderation, were not harmful, but there are plenty of health nuts out there who would vehemently disagree with me. Good to know there is documentation out there to back me up.

  2. Monet says:

    Love it! I’m sending this to my candy-phobic father…along with a candy bar! Thank you for sharing yourself and your creative facts with me week after week. This is a place where I come to tickle my mind and tempt my stomach. You are a blessing. Have a wonderful Friday!

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