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How Christmas Can be Good For You

Medical research has uncovered hidden benefits to the festive season:

  • Receiving cards: the more Christmas cards they received, the higher their levels of self-esteem and happiness
  • Eating chocolates: several studies show there are health benefits to our favorite confectionery
  • Going to church: a Christmas prayer may do you the world of good
  • Meeting friends: Chatting with family and friends prevents dementia
  • Mistletoe: extract of mistletoe is already reported to be a popular alternative cancer therapy in Germany
  • Eating cranberries: drinking cranberry juice raised levels of 'good' cholesterol in the blood and slashed the risk of heart disease by up to 40 percent
  • Laughing: men who watched a funny video experienced a 40 percent drop in levels of cortisol--a stress hormone linked with heart disease

BBC News December 25, 2003

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