If You Know What’s Good For You…

You’ll eat your daily recommended requirement of dark chocolate.  It’s all about the antioxidants and cocoa butter.


You won’t build your home on the side of a cliff, on the bank of a river, or under an umbrella of air pollution.  This just in:  air pollution causes more heart attacks than too much of anything else including exercise, sex, cocaine.

smoke on the water

I’ve been saving interesting bit about health lately because I need to extend my years of productivity.  I have promises to keep and miles to go…well, you know the rest.  So I thought I’d share a few tidbits from my clippings.  The Sunday Parade recently cited a new book called The Longevity Project—followed a bunch of people from childhood to old-hood—in exploding (at least for now) the myths that…


…marriage leads to longer life.  True for men if they stay married to the same spouse.  Fewer than a third of divorced men reach old age.  There’s little difference in longevity between divorced women who stay single and women who stay married.


…relaxation and early retirement lead to longer lives.  Not so.  Continually “productive” people live “much longer” than those who kick back early.  Surprised?  I was.  Also surprising—people don’t worry themselves to death.  People who are conscientious even to the being a little obsessive tend to live longer than those less so.  But outgoing, friendly, sociable people do not necessarily live longer.  Neither do cheerful, optimistic people.  Sober, staid, shy people are more likely to live to old age.  (Whether they’ve had fun doing it is another question.)


…more education, longer life.  Not necessarily.  Better-educated people might live a little long, but their productivity is really the predictor of longevity.  However, the nerds tend to outlive the jocks with moderate physical activity over the long haul.

Now, how about a little quiz on home remedies and commonly held truisms about health?

1.  T or F:  Drinking milk makes your cold worse.

2.  T or F:  Going outside with wet hair or sleeping in a draft can give you a cold.

3.  T or F:  Honey can help heal burns, and it’s better for a cough than over-the-counter syrup.

4.  T or F:  Gargling with salt water is good for a sore throat.

5.  T or F:  Women have more “senior moments” than men.

6.  T or F:  Men are less likely to go to the doctor than women.

7.  T or F:  Cranberries may reduce cavities.

8.  Which is the best source of more energy in the afternoon:  a) green tea  b) a walk  c) a nap

9.  How many nightly hours of sleep is linked to increased risk of premature death?  a) 5.5  b) 6.5  c) 9.5

10. T or F:  Clenching your fist in the face of temptation (see cake photos) increases willpower.

answers (don’t know how to turn them upside down):  1. F; 2. F; 3. T; 4. T  5. F;  6. F;  7  T;  8. c (yes, c)  9. a (increases risk by 12% and c (increases risk by 30%).  10.  true, but it only gives you a second of resistance.  Also from Parade, compliments of the StarTribune.

Did any of these surprise you?  What health tips did you learn from the wise women in your life?


About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in health, longevity. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to If You Know What’s Good For You…

  1. Betina says:

    Good Post! Thanks Kathy for keeping an eye on our health and keeping us informed. Most of the T-F things I got right– except the sleep thing. I thought that too little sleep was the bugaboo. Turns out too little or too MUCH sleep can cause problems. Who knew? And the no-milk-when-you’ve-got-a-cold thing– I knew that one. It increases mucus production! Working in the med field does have its advantages.

    As for stuff I learned from wise women. . . hmmmmm. You can get through most stuff if you take it one day at a time. Whether it’s a bad cold, a stomach virus, or a battle with breast cancer. One day at a time. The body always moves toward healing– always. In fact I’ve read quotes from doctors who say their job is to keep the patient calm and occupied while nature does the healing. There’s something to that! The old: seven days with treatment, a week without it.

  2. cindygerard says:

    Interesting info, Kathy. Thanks for looking out for us.
    Being a very recent survivor of a bad strep throat with a horrible cough, however, I must take issue with the honey vs cough syrup answer. Parade got it wrong :o) I tried everything for that cough … including lots of honey. NOTHING worked until I got an over the counter cough syrup with an expectorant supplemented by Richola (sp) cough drops. So glad that’s behind me!

    Going out to buy dark chocolate now :o)

    • Okay, the honey for cough came from a different article about remedies for children, so maybe it’s the adult cough syrup makes a difference. I put the two honeys together because they seemed happy together even though they came from different articles.

      Whatever works, right? I swear that glucosamine makes a difference for my joints. I feel a difference when I stop taking, and I know so many people who say the same thing. (I know it works for aging dogs because I had one, and I could see it in the way he walked.) But I’ve read lots of reviews lately that say it has no effect. For whatever reason, it works for me.

  3. lois greiman says:

    Great post. Mostly because now I have justification for my afternoon nap/s. 🙂

  4. Leanne Banks says:

    Ha ha to what Lois said! The sleep thing makes me sad because I do like my sleep when I can get it! I knew we should have chocolate everyday before there were ever any studies. They could have just asked me.:)

    • But you can’t count smiley M&M, the writer’s good friend. No milk chocolate. This has to be real upwards of 70% dark chocolate. It’s what’s my granddaughter calls “old people’s chocolate.” (She’s 7 today, so she’d getting up there.) Trader Joe’s has it in bite size candy bars now, so Kraya weeded that out of her school Valentine box and gave it to me. She tells me the taste buds are the first to go. No kidding. She got that from her dad. He told me the same thing, but he was at least 10.

  5. catslady says:

    Did I miss the answer to number 10? lol I got 7 out of 9 which I guess isn’t too bad. I missed 5 & 6 which shows you how much I know about men lol.

  6. kylie brant says:

    Yay!!! I got #8 right. I do know the value of naps 🙂

  7. I was really surprised by the sleep thing! Not so surprised by productivity keeping us alive longer than relaxation. And now I want chocolate!

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