Beyond veggies: the health benefits of chocolate, sex, sleep and social networks, from the Harvard Health Letter

Can you have your health and enjoy yourself, too? A growing body of research suggests you can.

Never has high living looked quite so healthful as it has lately—even if it is high living on a leash. The permission to indulge in some pleasures almost always comes with a reminder about doing everything in moderation, reports the April 2009 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Here are some not-so-guilty pleasures:

Alcohol: Moderate alcohol consumption protects against heart disease and stroke. Drinking increases "good" HDL cholesterol, reduces blood clotting factors, and may make blood vessels less vulnerable to atherosclerosis.

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