MISSION: GET INTO YOUR COMFORT ZONE
The surprising ways candy can be good for your
Love candy? You’re not alone. The
average American scarfs down an astonishing 25 pounds of
it a year—most of it around Halloween when candy bowls
brimming with sugary treats are everywhere.
you can now
banish your candy guilt. Well, some of it, anyway. That's because
found that candy isn’t the nutritional devil we’ve been
taught to think it is. Conventional wisdom has held that
candy must be bad for you, says I-Min Lee, Ph.D. lead
study author. But, the truth is, studies show that some
sweets are full of essential fats, vitamins and
minerals that fight disease—just like meats, fruits,
vegetables, spices and herbs—and eating them regularly
can add years to your life.
What’s more, much talked
about diseases aren’t the only things that candy can
combat; simply suck on a peppermint or chew a piece of
gum and annoying little day-to-day health problems, like
a case of the sniffles or an upset stomach, can
instantly become a thing of the past too.
Read on to
discover which sweet treats can do the most for you…
Stressed? Reach for a caramel!
According to a recent study from
the University of California at San Francisco, people who
eat foods that contain both fat and sugar
simultaneously benefit from an amazing de-stressing
effect. The combination sends signals to the “reward”
center of our brains, giving us a mood boost, and also
blocks stress hormones, such as cortisol, which
instantly lessons irritability and fatigue. The perfect
prescription: eat two to four caramels. They contain
just the right amount of fat and sugar to sweep
anxiety-causing chemicals out of your brain, giving you
an immediate feeling of relaxation, confirms
Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., director
of the nutrition clinic at the University of Utah in
Salt Lake City. And at just 39 calories each, they won’t
even make a dent your diet!
Bloated? Chew on licorice!
Having trouble getting rid of pre-period
A simple and easy solution is to eat natural
black licorice candy.
Licorice contains estrogen-mimicking compounds that
inhibit water retention and other premenstrual problems,
Willow Moore, D.C., N.D., a naturopathic doctor in
Owings Mills, Maryland.
The effect is so powerful, licorice can even help
prevent menopausal symptoms like memory decline,
according to a British study. Try Panda All Natural
Licorice chews, which can be found in health food stores
or online at
Upset stomach? Chew gum!
It’s so effective at quelling tummy
trouble, many doctors are now handing Bazooka,
Doublemint and the like to their patients after
abdominal surgery to prevent gas, bloating and
constipation. “Gum stimulates the production of saliva
and gastric juices, jump-starting the ‘stalled’ intestine
that’s at the root of most stomach troubles,” explains
Mark Glasser, M.D., chief of the department of
obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Permanente Medical
Center in San Rafael, California. Bonus: Choosing a
sugar-free variety helps alleviate constipation because
the sugar substitute attracts water to your intestinal
tract, a recent study shows.
Have high cholesterol? Eat candied
Israeli researchers found that sucking on
one piece of crystallized ginger candy a day has the
power to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by an
impressive 33%. Ginger works by thinning the blood, making
platelets less sticky and likely to clog arteries,
explains Dr. Klatz.
And that’s not all: numerous studies show
this ancient Asian remedy can melt away headache pain,
relieve fevers and lessen arthritis as effectively as
over-the-counter painkillers. The oil in ginger has an
amazingly powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory
effect, Dr. Klatz explains.
Concerned about cancer? Consume
When researchers from Holland's National
Institute of Public Health and Environment compared
chocolate to tea,
they concluded that the rich candy treat had four times
as many anti-cancer compounds as the brew! “Over 600
varieties of antioxidants have been discovered in
chocolate so far, making it as much as super-health hero
as a multi-vitamin,” says Dr. Klatz. His sweet
a one-ounce square of plain, dark chocolate a few times
each week to ensure
you have adequate levels of quality of antioxidants.
Coughing? Congested? Cure yourself with
Scientists say that there’s a reason more
of those little red-and-white-striped treats are
consumed during winter than at any other time of year:
they contain menthol, an anti-inflammatory compound
powerful enough to clear nasal congestion and soothe
coughs related to colds and flu. “It’s the exact same
healing ingredient found in leading over-the-counter
nose and throat relievers in your drugstore,” reveals
Boise, Idaho, naturopathic physician, Joan
3 candy myths—debunked!
Still not convinced candy can be good for
you? Experts demystify your top fears:
Myth #1: Candy makes you fat.
Fact: The calories in a candy bar
are just like the calories in any other food; burn them
off and you won’t gain an ounce, explains clinical
nutritionist Paulette McMillan, R.D.
Myth #2: Candy causes cavities.
Fact: Recent research shows that
crackers are actually more likely to cause cavities than
most candy. Unlike sugar, which dissolves quickly,
cracker crumbs stick to teeth and promote decay.
Myth #3: Candy causes Type-2 diabetes.
Fact: Type 2 diabetes is not caused by
sugar, reports Emory University professor William
Branch, M.D. “It’s caused by insulin resistance, the
result of being overweight."