Word-Of-the-Week #612: Laughter

April 28, 2016 by  

Laughter the sound of happiness and amusement.

When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? How about a nice piece of dark chocolate? Can you believe that when combined they could help you have a healthier and happier life? Seriously!

This week’s SDUT featured an article by Michele Parente titled, “LAUGHTER, CHOCOLATE: A HEALTHY COMBO. Father, son team up for UCSD lecture to unwrap mysteries of two happy habits.” She writes, “Here’s something that’s sure to put a smile on your face: A key to good health just might come in the form of a chocolate chuckle.

Scientific studies have long given credence to the adage that laughter is the best medicine. Now, an increasing body of research is showing the positive health benefits of dark chocolate.

Dr. Lee Berk, director of Loma Linda University’s Clinical Molecular and Psychoneuro-immunology Research Laboratory, says his research has shown that mirthful laughter can affect the brain by producing gamma waves to levels similar to when a person meditates. Stress, the opposite of genuine, physiology-changing laughter, suppresses the immune system, speeds up the heart rate and produces detrimental stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

Laughter spurs positive emotions with beneficial results on the immune system, heart rate and brain. Busting a gut watching “Bridesmaids” for the 10th time could significantly reduce the output of detrimental stress hormones, and gamma wave brain frequency is changed, allowing for cleared, more focused thought.a laughter

Dark chocolate made from 70 percent cacao does the same thing!”

Dr. Berk goes on to say, “Clearly, lifestyle components, whether behavior or what we ingest, have a commonality in making us healthier. My perception was, if behavior can modulate brain frequency, why doesn’t food or the kinds of food you eat do the same thing? Home run.

Dark chocolate with high cacao content has long been believed to be a good source of flavonoids, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant elements that promote cardiovascular health. In addition, the flavonoids in chocolate are shown to affect intellect, enhance memory and recall, and the brain’s ability to reason.

Moreover it’s known to spur the “love or bliss hormone.” Eating healthy chocolate enhances serotonin, stimulates good endorphins and makes you feel better.”

This week’s focus is on the sound of happiness and amusement coming from you. And guilt free chocolate eating! But remember it has to be dark with high cacao content. I like mine with almonds. How about you? Here’s to mirthful laughter and bliss with a big bite of dark chocolate!

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