Move over, red wine. Looks like beer has some health benefits too. A recent Italian study found that moderate beer consumption decreases your risk of heart disease by 31 percent, just as much as moderate wine consumption. What counts as moderate beer consumption? The researchers suggest a daily dose of slightly more than an English pint (20 ounces, which is four ounces bigger than an American pint) containing five percent alcohol. Cheers!
They say the early bird gets the worm. But it also seems the early bird gets stressed the eff out. The body produces cortisol, the stress hormone, in cycles—and production happens to peak around 7 AM. Those who wake up around that time may experience tension. Our advice: Sleep until 10, just to be safe.
Spending your nights playing <em>World of Warcraft</em> won’t help your social life. But it will help your brain box. Scientists at the Office of Naval Research say that video games can help adults process information much faster and improve their abilities to reason and solve problems. Results from one ONR study show that video game players score 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability than non-game players. The ONR has no results, however, on how video game players score in terms of women.
Where’s the beef? Hopefully, in your belly! A new study suggests that a diet including lean beef may produce cholesterol-lowering results similar to a diet centered around fruits and veggies. Don’t celebrate with a 64-ounce T-bone just yet. The daily rations in the study included less than five-and-a-half ounces of meat (either grilled, braised or fried).
Turns out, comedies actually have a serious benefit. Watching a funny movie or sitcom has a positive effect on vascular function, new research finds. Experts at the University of Maryland had subjects watch two movies: <em>There’s Something About Mary</em> and <em>Saving Private Ryan</em>. During the Tom Hanks film, the subjects’ blood vessel lining developed an unhealthy response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow. However during the Ben Stiller comedy, the blood vessel lining expanded by up to 50 percent. So go ahead, rent a Pauly Shore movie. We won’t (openly) judge you.
While some freaks are anti-caffeine, coffee has been linked to decreased risks of Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes, strokes and more. And probably most important to you: prostate cancer. A recent Harvard study shows that drinking one to three cups of Joe every day can cut the risk of lethal prostate cancer by 30 percent. Even better: Drinking at least six cups a day can reduce your risk by 60 percent.
Sure it sucks when bills pile up and you bomb an office presentation but, hey, it really does build character. Researchers recently found that those who dealt with a moderate amount of adversity in their lifetime displayed a more stable sense of well-being compared to those who never faced difficult situations. The reasoning is simple: Brain systems (including the stress system) are like muscles—they get stronger when they’re used and deteriorate when they’re not.
Saying the F-word (or any other fun expletive!) can actually help you feel better, British researchers find. Experts asked 64 college students to hold their hands in a bucket of ice water for several minutes. One group was allowed to repeat a curse word of their choice and another group said a more boring non-expletive word. The group that got to curse could withstand the ice water for a long period of time and also reported a reduced perception of pain.
No, having hot, dirty intercourse isn’t exactly considered bad (unless you’re a man of the cloth), but we thought sex deserved a spot on this list. There are tons of benefits: It burns calories, it makes couples feel more satisfied and the sound of it annoys your uptight neighbors. The list goes on. And more recently, experts found that increased sexual activity produces more testosterone, which leads to less depression. The boost of testosterone also burns off excess sugars and reduces the risk of heart disease.