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Healthy Vices? Yes, Please!

By Erica Cardenas

I recently posted on social media that my go-to when memorizing lots of script is…wait for it…chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate, right?? 🙂 Of course all joking aside, I went on to explain how research shows that dark chocolate is on the list of foods that help increase your memory. Not to mention it’s also packed with antioxidants known as flavanoids. Chocolate, ahhh, yes – definitely one of my vices, and this month on “Your Health” we explore just that – vices that are good for you!

But first…Coffee.

A cup of coffee in the morning may provide more than just an energy boost. In fact, a wealth of research backs up that coffee may range from helping prevent diabetes to lowering the risk of liver disease, among other benefits.

I sat down with Olympian pole vaulter and owner of Maverick Coffee, Steve Lewis, to get a better understanding of what puts coffee on the list of healthy vices. Take a look!

I myself am more of a tea drinker, one of my favorite varieties being chai tea. The black tea in chai is rich in antioxidants and the spices in chai (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and others) have been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments and promote general health and well-being. Shout out to Maverick Coffee for serving me up a delicious chai tea (with their house almond milk) the day of our shoot – a delicious healthy vice, indeed!

This month on “Your Health” we visit Maverick Coffee and talk healthy vices.

You can officially stop feeling guilty for getting in that extra pillow time. Did you know getting a solid seven to eight hours of sleep a night is ideal to boost your immune system and memory? According to the same studies, lack of sleep has been associated with hypertension, glucose intolerance and belly fat – all risk factors for heart disease. While getting enough sleep won’t grant you total immunity from disease, research continues to show a link between insufficient sleep and serious health problems including diabetes and obesity. So there you have it, rest up!

Play Hooky

A mental health day, we all need one (or two, or three) every now and then. Workplace burnout can become a serious issue, yet research shows that American rarely take time off from work. Breaks are good for the mind, body and soul. Remember to be good to yourself. Unplug. Refocus. Relax. You deserve a day just for you to do anything you want, or nothing at all. You’ll return a much happier, healthier employee. 🙂

Get Outside More

Some of my best childhood memories are of me playing outside with friends, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. It seems like as adults, we forget more and more to take breaks, get outside and enjoy the sunshine. While basking in the sun can be frowned upon, a little sunshine in moderation is actually good for you. Sunshine has been shown time and again to improve mood, lessen stress, boost immunity and even lower blood pressure. Go for walks. Garden. Play with your kids at the park. Whatever activity you choose outdoors, you’ll get more vitamin D. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Remember, there’s wiggle room for those indulgences, and moderation is key. Enjoy!

Stay healthy, my friends!

Erica Cardenas (@ericacardenas1)