Sometimes wine and ice cream are the best medicine

Friday 19 November, 2015  

  • Hereís why keeping on, keeping on is a must
  • Two great new health products revealed... at long last
  • Je suis Paris

I felt we all needed a bit of a pick me up this week.

Against a backdrop of events in Paris that has no doubt appalled any right thinking person I feel it my duty to offer a little solace through the medium of the Good Life Letter.

Thatís why I am delighted to be able to tell you that red wine and ice cream are officially natural health products.

Research published in the last few weeks has indicated that a glass of red wine does you as much good as a gym work out and ice cream will make you happier so you wonít need the anti-depressants.

So, Iím sitting writing today's letter with a nice glass of Burgundy and a bowl of stem ginger ice cream either side of the keyboard...

...I can feel my health benefitting by the minute!

All of this is more than the deluded ramblings of an ageing man Ė itís scientific fact.

Let me start with the red wine story...

The big tonic we all love

There has long been an association between red wine and improved cardiovascular health.

More specifically a compound in the wine called resveratrol has been shown to help maintain the flexibility of the arteries.

According to a study by the University of Alberta in Canada, the health benefits from resveratrol are similar to the effects of a modest work out: improved physical performance, better heart function and increased muscle strength.

The teamís findings were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Physiology and the lead researcher commented that: ďWe were excited when we saw that resveratrol showed results similar to what you would see from extensive endurance exercise training.Ē

Just think what news like that could do to the UKís gym industry.
Rather than spend hours pounding away on treadmills, rowing machines and weight benches you are better off with half a bottle of good Beaujolais!

But the good news doesnít stop there Ė the scientists think that red wine might be a useful way to control diabetes and even cholesterol levels...

...who needs statins now!

Iíll let my good friend Ken Benson from our sister newsletter the Meta Health Monitor fill you in on that one Ė you can read his take on the good news red wine story here.

Ken has been adding some really interesting news stories to his site lately which deserve a look from time to time Ė in fact you should take the chance to sign up for his weekly mails too.

Ice cream brings out the smiles

It's official. Ice cream really does make us happy.

Now, if you're like my wife, you'll argue that you've always known ice cream makes you happy!

But now there's scientific evidence to back up your argument.

Experts at London's Institute of Psychiatry conducted an experiment where people's brains were scanned as they ate vanilla ice cream.

And by using a magnetic resonance imaging machine (don't ask me), results showed that the ice cream immediately switched on the brain's pleasure zones.

I didn't even know we HAD pleasure zones (I know, I know, I'm a typical man) but this does explain the feel-good feeling that comes from eating ice cream.

So as usual my advice is, if you like ice cream, indulge yourself once in a while. Don't cut out the treats altogether. They really DO make us feel happy and that's a vital factor in our general health.

One other thing I discovered about ice cream is that eating it during winter wonít cause you to have a cold or make a cold worse... both received wisdom from my nan Iím ashamed to say.

Growing up you too might have been told that you should not eat ice cream when you have a cold, the main reason being that the ice cream will "chill" your body and slow down recovery.

Many people also believe that dairy products increase the production and thickness of phlegm.

But according to Dr Morgan Jenkins, a resident physician at Raffles Medical Hong Kong, there is simply no reason for you to avoid ice cream when you have a cold.

He adds that frozen yoghurt might also increase the probiotic effect of dairy foods and this will actually help boost your immune system.

So this weekend join me and tuck into something delicious without fearing a raging flu next week.

A final word

I said we needed something to cheer us up this week.

That isnít to say we should ever forget what has happened to family and friends in the horror in France or those suffering in the ravages of the warring states.

If any have been offended by my talking of wine and ice cream right now I apologise, I mean no offence, itís just that I donít want to let the mindless few blight any part of Ďnormalí life.

My heart and sympathies lie with all those in sorrow, grief and pain and I know I speak for a great many of my readers who are at a loss to know what we should do in these circumstances.

Other than continue to do the best we can. Put our arms around those who need to be cared for. Seek out the best in humankind, revel in the wonders of nature and keep our hearts open.

Yours, as always







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