10 Guilty Pleasures You Shouldn't Feel Too Guilty About

Cholocate, wine, massages, sex… sounds like a hell of a Tuesday night. To some people, these indulgences fall under the heading of “vices,” but the folks at CNN say they’re all actually part of a healthy life, so long as you don’t overdo it.

Here’s a roundup of CNN’s 10 ‘Vices’ That Are Good For You:

1. Sleep: “Sleep is free and has virtually zero health drawbacks, making it the one treat no one should skimp on. Pillow time gives you energy, bolsters your immune system, boosts your memory, and even helps you get (or stay) slim.”

2. Taking the Day Off: “Studies confirm that time off — whether on a trip out of Dodge or a 24-hour staycation — relieves stress, lowering your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease.”

3. Sex: “Having sex releases feel-good endorphins and oxytocin, the hormone that promotes attachment… Another plus: Subjects in one study who did it once or twice a week had higher levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, which shields you from colds and other infections.”

4. Chocolate: “Dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and provide other cardiovascular benefits, multiple studies have shown.”

5. Hanging Out With Friends: “There’s little question that strong social ties can bring a host of benefits: fewer colds, better brain health, and a longer life, to name a few.”

6. Full-Fat Foods: “Full-fat foods not only taste better but also serve a real health purpose, as long as you get the right amounts of the right kinds… Aim for at least 10 percent of your daily fat intake to come from monounsaturated fats (found in vegetable oils, avocados, and many nuts and seeds)… These fats reduce your risks of heart disease and stroke… Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish such as salmon and tuna, and in flaxseed and walnuts) also lower heart disease risk and may help decrease symptoms of depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and other ailments.”

7. Coffee: “A wealth of research suggests that coffee doesn’t just pick you up — it fights heart disease and some cancers, and it may even help you push through harder, longer workouts… Moderate coffee-drinking in middle age has been associated with lower risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

8. Getting a Massage: “Women in a 2008 study noted less pain, depression, anxiety, and anger when they were massaged twice a week by their partners — and (bonus!) their partners reported better mental health, too.”

9. Being Out in the Sun: “Sunshine is the ultimate natural antidepressant, triggering our bodies to nip production of the sleep-stimulating hormone melatonin so we’re alert, energized, and ready to face the day. Exposing bare skin to the sun also triggers the synthesis of vitamin D, a hormone that may reduce your risks for cancer, heart disease, fragile bones, and other problems.”

10. Wine: “The buzz on wine is about its heart-healthy properties, though researchers aren’t entirely sure how it works its magic. Its antioxidants may keep blood vessels flexible, or alcohol could boost HDL (good) cholesterol… Either way, the key is moderation: one 5-ounce glass a day. More than that can raise blood pressure and pack on pounds.”

We’re curious to find out which items on this list you don’t count as vices. More importantly, which ones do you overdo and which don’t you get enough of?

America’s healthiest pleasures: 10 ‘vices’ that are good for you [CNN.com]

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