The health benefits of being nice:
How practicing random acts of kindness promotes happiness.

Health benefits of kindess

Not long ago I was running some errands and just before returning home I stopped by Starbucks and went through the drive-through to grab a coffee drink. There was a long line and I was in a hurry to get back on the freeway before the afternoon traffic. You have to beat the rush before 3:30 p.m. at this particular location, or you are in for bumper-to-bumper traffic for the next 25 miles. I was getting a little edgy and wished the line would hurry up a bit.

When at last it was my turn, I reached out my hand to give the young man at the window my $10 bill to pay for my cappuccino but he didn't take my money. Instead he said, "The lady in the car in front of you already paid for your drink."

Excuse me! I looked at the car pulling out of the driveway and I didn't recognize it. I asked the young man to explain to me why she had paid for my coffee. He answered, "No reason that I know of, except maybe as an act of kindness."

SHOP Amazon's Top 100* Best Selling Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements
+ Free Shipping & Returns on Eligible Items.
(*Amazon's Top 100 list updated hourly.)

When I finally had my coffee in hand and I moved toward the freeway, I noticed a smile on my face and my mood was definitely lifted. By this time the traffic had already poured onto the freeway, but I was able to spend the next 30 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic enjoying my coffee and listening to some great songs on the radio.

Practicing acts of kindness
Wherever you are at this moment, right now is the perfect time to participate in Random Acts of Kindness. This activity is a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual. There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or to bring them a moment of happiness.

I remember some years back stopping at a fast-food restaurant to get myself a quick lunch to go. I was starved and couldn't wait to get in the car and take my first bite. I was surprised to encounter a very dirty beggar in that neighborhood as I walked across the parking lot to my car. He came up to me and asked for some spare change... or some food. My immediate response was, "I don't have any extra change." Then I quickly remembered he also asked for food. I looked at the bag in my hand and knew what I had to do. I handed it over to him and said, "Maybe this will help." As I walked back into the restaurant to order again I was aware of a lift in my step. It felt good.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

Research does bear out that giving to other people, rather than to ourselves, does indeed benefit us. A 2008 study published in Science magazine found that "spending more of one's income on others predicted greater happiness."

In remembering these and a few other acts of kindness, I thought to myself, I wonder what would happen if all of us spent time this week or even this month looking for ways to practice random acts of kindness on family, friends, neighbors and strangers? What stories would we have to share with each other?

Let's do it! Let's do something special for others, be creative and make someone's day!

Excerpt from VITAJOURNAL, February 2011. Judy Ellison, Ph.D., is a psychologist, author and motivational speaker. She has inspired people around the world to reach within and find their passionate purpose to live a more meaningful life.

From the Maui Health Research Desk...

Over a dozen fast, simple ways to eat healthier foods (and enjoy every bite)
easy ways to eat more vegetables

There is no better time than right now to start making informed food choices and developing sound eating and exercise habits.

To help put more healthy "color" in your daily diet, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) offers these tips to enjoy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat/fat-free dairy products.

  1. Enjoy your pizza topped with broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
  2. For a sweet and healthy sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, puree berries, apples, peaches or pears.
  3. Whip up a breakfast smoothie with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
  4. Have whole-grain rice left over? Heat it up with chopped apple, nuts and cinnamon.
  5. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.
  6. Instead of chips, try crunchy vegetables with your favorite low-fat dip or salad dressing.
  7. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs of tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
  8. Banana split: top a sliced banana with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt.
  9. Brighten up salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.
  10. Prepare instant oatmeal with low-fat/fat-free milk instead of water.
  11. Make an omelet a meal by stuffing it with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
  12. Wake up to fruit. Add it to your morning oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt or toaster waffle.
  13. Enjoy "nature's fast food:" raw vegetables and fruits that are cleaned, fresh and ready to eat.
  14. Stuff a whole grain pita with ricotta cheese and apple slices; add a dash of cinnamon.

Broccoli: a vegetable for all seasons

Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Developed from wild cabbage in ancient Roman times, broccoli made its way to the U.S. in colonial times, brought over by Italian immigrants. However, its popularity didn't really take off until the 1970s. By 2005, Americans were eating 5.6 pounds of broccoli per person every year.

When choosing broccoli at the store or farmers market, look for firm stalks and florets that are tightly closed and green. Keep in mind that if you overcook it, you won't get the health benefits; overcooking can leach the nutrients out of it.nutritional benefits of broccoli A study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that steaming broccoli is the best way to preserve its nutrients; microwaving is the worst way to prepare it.

Probably the only bad thing you'll hear about broccoli is that it can be odiferous when cooked. But don't let that deter you from enjoying this health-enhancing, delicious treat.

Tips for enjoying the outdoors...

What's the best treatment for sunburn?

You already know it, but we're going to say it again anyway: Preventing a sunburn is much safer and less painful than treating one.

SHOP NOW for Low Prices on Amazon's Top 100* Best Selling Skin Sun Protection
+ Free Shipping & Returns on Eligible Items.
(*Amazon's Top 100 list updated hourly.)

Despite our best intentions, however, most of us will suffer from some degree of sunburn. When this happens, here are tips for minimizing the sunburn damage and discomfort: both the heat injury to the skin and the radiation damage to our skin's protective, outer layer. (The goal is to get the skin cool and keep it from drying out.)

1. Press gently on the skin with a wet, cool washcloth (cool compress) or take a cool shower.

treatment for sunburns

2. While your skin is still wet, apply an alcohol-free moisturizer (or the gel from a filleted aloe vera leaf) to lock in the moisture. Don't use salve, butter or ointment

3. You can take Tylenol to minimize the pain or Ibuprofen to treat both the pain and inflammation.

4. Avoid additional sun exposure and do not burst blisters if they appear.

5. Sunburned infants under 1 year of age or anyone who is experiencing a fever or severe pain should seek medical attention.

Low Prices on Best Selling VITAMINS &


A Sampling of Today's Health News Headlines
L.A. Times - Health
L.A. Times - Health

07/12/2024 04:41 PM
Radiohead and the Smile rocker Jonny Greenwood's infection prompts tour cancellation

Radiohead and the Smile guitarist Jonny Greenwood 'became seriously ill from an infection that needed emergency hospital treatment,' the bands announced Friday.

07/11/2024 06:00 AM
Botox is out. Plasma injections are in. But is L.A.'s 'natural' anti-aging movement any better?

Beauty-conscious consumers are saying "no" to Botox and fillers and opting for natural med spa treatments that may be just as painful — and even more costly and time-consuming

07/11/2024 06:00 AM
Doctors said cutting countertops destroyed his lungs. He had to fight for workers' comp

As California sees surging numbers of young workers suffering from silicosis, many have had trouble tapping workers' compensation.

07/11/2024 05:01 AM
In California, opioid settlement money helps fund lifesaving drugs and police projects

California is in line for more than $4 billion in opioid settlement funds, and local governments are most often spending the first payouts on lifesaving drugs.

07/10/2024 06:00 AM
'We've created medical refugees.' LGBTQ+ healthcare workers fight for gender-affirming care amid rise in anti-trans laws

The fate of trans healthcare lies in the outcome of a presidential election and next summer's Supreme Court ruling. But these LGBTQ+ healthcare workers are determined to provide gender-affirming care.

07/09/2024 06:00 AM
Opinion: It's not just hype. AI could revolutionize diagnosis in medicine

The future isn't handing over the keys to computers but, rather, making use of what they can do that we can't and adequately funding these efforts.

07/08/2024 11:00 AM
Mounjaro bests Ozempic for weight loss in first head-to-head comparison of real-world use

In the first head-to-head comparison of two blockbuster drugs, patients taking Mounjaro lost more weight than those taking Ozempic.

NYT > Health
NYT > Health

07/13/2024 09:18 AM
Why Does a Routine Test of Newborns Reward ‘Pink’ Skin?
The Apgar test grades infants in five areas, including skin tone. Babies of color score lower, and may be subjected to unnecessary treatment.
07/12/2024 05:02 AM
Why Nursing Home Residents Suffer Despite Tough Staffing Laws
The Biden administration set stringent new federal staffing rules. But for years, nursing homes have failed to meet the toughest standards set by states.
07/12/2024 04:59 AM
How to Find a Good, Well-Staffed Nursing Home
Here are the telltale signs to look for in nursing homes to avoid, and resources that can point to better places.
07/10/2024 10:56 AM
Doctors Use A.I. Chatbots to Help Fight Insurance Denials
As health plans increasingly rely on technology to deny treatment, physicians are fighting back with chatbots that synthesize research and make the case.
07/09/2024 10:48 PM
Sacklers Threatened with Lawsuits from States and Creditors for Purdue Pharma
Legal maneuverings followed a Supreme Court ruling last month that denied the Sackler family immunity from liability over its role in the opioid crisis.
07/09/2024 11:16 AM
F.T.C. Slams Middlemen for High Drug Prices
In a report, the regulator sharply criticized pharmacy benefit managers, a turnaround from its longstanding tolerance of their practices.
07/09/2024 02:00 PM
Second Patient to Receive Pig Kidney Transplant Has Died
Lisa Pisano, 54, lived with the organ for 47 days. She was the first patient to receive both a heart pump and an organ transplant, doctors said.
07/08/2024 01:04 PM
Children With Autism Carry Unique Gut Flora, Study Finds
The research, which builds on previous work, eventually may lead to a more objective diagnostic tool, scientists said.
NPR Topics: Health
NPR Topics: Health
07/14/2024 06:01 AM
8 things to know about the drug known as 'gas station heroin'
For decades, tianeptine was used to treat depression, even though no one knew how it worked. But it turns out it's a type of opioid, and the U.S. is facing a spike in abuse of "gas station heroin."
07/13/2024 07:50 PM
Richard Simmons, who believed fitness is for everyone, dies at 76
With his short shorts, sparkly tank tops, frizzy hair and flamboyant personality, Simmons created a fitness empire. He preached positivity, portion control, moving your body — and having fun.
07/13/2024 11:09 AM
Pioneering sex expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer dies at 96
Westheimer's deep knowledge about human sexual behavior and advocacy of safe sex, along with her pragmatism and sense of humor, catapulted her to national fame in the 1980s.
07/13/2024 07:00 AM
Need free pads or tampons? In Tampa, you can visit a ‘period pantry’
Tampa Period Pantry has set up 10 locations to help fight 'period poverty.' It's attracting more attention after Gov. DeSantis vetoed funds for free menstrual products in Florida schools.
07/13/2024 06:00 AM
What stresses you out? What helps you cope? We want to hear from you
NPR is planning coverage on the stressors people face and how they find relief. Please tell us what keeps you up at night and what coping tips and techniques you'd recommend.
07/12/2024 02:32 PM
How to stay cool in extreme heat without air conditioning
How do you stay cool when it's 120 degrees and there's no AC? Dr. Gulrez Shah Azhar, who grew up in India, shares strategies from the Global South.
07/12/2024 07:17 AM
Rabies could become a disease of the past. Here's what it would take
The Americas has made extraordinary progress, mainly by vaccinating canines. Asia and Africa —- where 95% of rabies cases happen —- have two obstacles to progress.
07/12/2024 05:00 AM
Social media is fueling a tween skin care craze. Some dermatologists are wary
Tweens are now major consumers of skin care products, fueled by social media. But dermatologists are seeing kids with rashes caused by products not meant for young skin. What should tweens be using?
Copyright 2024 All rights reserved. rss Subscribe to our RSS
Information provided here should not be relied on to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition, disease or illness. Please consult with your physician or health care professional for guidance on any health concern. is a commercial website and is not affiliated with any government agency, university, or private medical center. COMPENSATION DISCLOSURE: This site may be compensated for products promoted here. Read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.