Health Benefits of Kissing
By: Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Other than being fun, kissing is also great for your health. Apparently, a kiss a day is sure to keep the doctor away according to some studies. Other than that, kissing is a great practice universal to many societies that helps create trust and build strong bonds. For those of you who need more convincing to pucker up, here are the 10 amazing health benefits you get from regular kissing.
1.Kissing will keep You Youthful
A short smooch on the cheek requires the use of only two muscles but passionate kissing involves as much as 34 facial muscles if you do it right. This means that passionate kissing is a great facial exercise that may keep your facial muscles toned and your face looking youthful for longer. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, facial exercises are a great way to counterbalance the effects of aging.
- You get to Burn More Calories
According to Joseph S. Alpert, MD from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, the act of passionate kissing can burn between 5 and 26 calories per minute. This shouldn’t come as a surprise really, considering the number of muscles involved, the increased heartbeat and the adrenaline rush during a passionate kiss.
- Kissing Makes you Feel Good
You probably already knew this but maybe you were wondering why exactly does kissing make your day better. Well, kissing activates the release of feel-good hormones endorphin and dopamine in the central nervous system. Kissing also increases catecholamine concentrations in the brain which is an organic compound important in the synthesis of dopamine.
- It Prevents Cavities
Although up to 1 billion bacteria from around 278 different species are exchanged during a French kiss, most of these bacteria are actually harmless. On the other hand, nobody told you about the increased saliva production during a kiss. Saliva has a protective role in your oral hygiene and the more you produce it, the more microorganisms are flushed from your mouth. Saliva also helps preserve the healthy pH of your mouth which protects from cavities.
- Kissing may Increase your Life Span
Some sources on the web mention a German study that found that men who had the habit of kissing their spouses before going to work lived five years longer on average. Although the source of this study is unknown, we can understand why this might be the case. A kiss before departing is a good sign all is going well in your marriage and a healthy marriage is a stress reliever.
- Kissing is a Cure for Allergies
One study examined the effects of kissing on 24 patients with eczema allergies and 24 patients with rhinitis caused by allergens. The subjects from this study kissed for 30 minutes after which scientists measured their allergen-specific immunoglobulin and cytokine production. According to their findings, kissing significantly decreased the production of allergen-specific IgE making kissing a great treatment for allergy.
- Kissing Makes you Bond
The act of kissing stimulates the production of oxytocin which is a hormone that can make us trust people more. Any kind of act of close contact can stimulate oxytocin secretion from hugging, kissing, breastfeeding, and even sexual intercourse.
- Kissing Relaxes You
The increase in oxytocin levels during a kiss can also lower your blood pressure and make you feel more relaxed by also lowering cortisol levels. One study even found that administration of this hormone was an effective anti-stress remedy that could explain why hugging, kissing, breastfeeding, and other forms of close contact make us feel less anxious.
- The Cardiovascular Benefits of Kissing
Because ceasing causes a drop in blood pressure and reduces the amount of stress hormones in your body while simultaneously releasing oxytocin, kissing can be considered to be great for heart health. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, prolonged psychological stress can lead to atherosclerosis and increase your chances of getting a stroke or a heart attack. Kissing can counteract these negative effects and keep your heart healthy.
- Better Mood after a Kiss
Because kissing increases dopamine production, it’s safe to say that kissing is bound to make you feel happier throughout the day. Because kissing also causes a drop in stress hormone levels, you can expect a rise in serotonin, another feel-good hormone that is important in maintaining good emotional health and motivation.
The release of oxytocin levels during a kiss helps build trust in your partner while the rise in feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin make you feel happy and content in a relationship. Kissing can also help us relax by lowering our blood pressure and reduce the levels of stress hormones. But other less know benefits of kissing are its ability to fight cavities and reduce allergy symptoms. While you probably didn’t need much convincing to kiss your loved ones every day, these 10 benefits of kissing might make you appreciate a kiss even more.
Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)
Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon at bank el Ahly hospital and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.