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

06/01/2023 06:00 AM
'Queer ecology' gifted him new perspective. Take his hikes to find it too

For Jason Wise, knowing more about the natural world could've fortified him growing up in a conservative religious community. Now he's sharing his queer ecology knowledge on hikes for Pride Month.

05/31/2023 08:00 AM
Democratic lawmakers press Newsom to spend millions from health insurance fines

Gov. Gavin Newsom is under pressure from allies to begin spending money on healthcare that the state raised by fining Californians who forgo health insurance.

05/30/2023 08:27 PM
Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman is 'back in action' after mental health break

Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman has returned less than six months after announcing he was taking time off to focus on his mental health. He will be with the band when it plays in L.A. in July.

05/30/2023 03:50 PM
Arnold Schwarzenegger says Bruce Willis 'never really' retired: Action stars 'reload'

Arnold Schwarzenegger said his 'Expendables' co-star Bruce Willis 'will always be remembered as a great, great star' amid his battle with aphasia.

05/30/2023 11:47 AM
Al Roker is back on 'Today' and 'feeling good enough' after knee surgery

'Today' weatherman Al Roker returned to the morning show and updated viewers on his recovery after undergoing knee replacement surgery.

05/30/2023 07:00 AM
'Just do kegels' is tired. What's next for this hot women's health market?

Pelvic care is experiencing a hot wellness rush, but solutions can be wildly inaccessible. "This sector is exploding right now," says one physical therapist.

05/29/2023 10:00 AM
Rapper Lil Durk lost numerous friends and loved ones to violence. To cope, he turned to therapy

Durk's new album, 'Almost Healed,' features guests J. Cole and Morgan Wallen ('That's my dawg') and unusually frank talk of seeking professional help.

NYT > Health
NYT > Health

06/01/2023 11:01 AM
No One Knows How Many L.G.B.T.Q. Americans Die by Suicide
Death investigators in Utah are among a handful of groups trying to learn how many gay and transgender people die by suicide in the United States.
06/01/2023 02:44 PM
Allina Health System in Minnesota Cuts Off Patients With Medical Debt
Doctors at the Allina Health System, a wealthy nonprofit in the Midwest, aren’t allowed to see poor patients or children with too many unpaid medical bills.
06/01/2023 09:14 AM
An Appeals Court Gave the Sacklers Legal Immunity. Here’s What the Ruling Means.
In return for the shield, the billionaire owners of Purdue Pharma are committed to paying up to $6 billion to help compensate communities and individuals for the ravages of the opioid epidemic.
06/01/2023 10:38 AM
How to Lower Deaths Among Women? Give Away Cash.
Mortality rates fell by 20 percent among women in countries that began cash transfer programs to the poor. Children also benefited.
05/31/2023 06:35 PM
FDA Approves Pfizer’s RSV Vaccine for Adults 60 and Older
Though agency advisers had some safety concerns, the Pfizer shot is expected to be available before the winter R.S.V. season.
05/31/2023 04:24 PM
Sick Workers Tied to 40% of Food Poisoning Outbreaks, C.D.C. Says
To combat outbreaks at restaurants and other dining establishments, policies that support sick workers, including paid leave, may be needed, the agency said in a report this week.
05/30/2023 11:36 AM
To Prevent Heart Attacks, Doctors Try a New Genetic Test
Polygenic risk scores could help patients, including younger ones, understand whether they really need early treatment for heart disease.
05/28/2023 12:45 PM
Maternity’s Most Dangerous Time: After New Mothers Come Home
Recent research shows that most pregnancy-related deaths occur in the year after a baby is born. The discovery is changing how doctors care for new mothers.
Health : NPR
Health : NPR
06/01/2023 05:18 AM
The story of how the birth control pill was invented and tested
As the FDA considers whether to make birth control pills available over the counter, some are looking back at the controversial history of the development of "the pill."
06/01/2023 05:01 AM
Medical students aren't showing up to class. What does that mean for future docs?
Most first- and second-year medical students don't attend lectures. A student and a professor suggest it's a good time to think a lot about medical education, starting with "flipping the classroom."
06/01/2023 05:00 AM
How a 93-year-old visited every national park and healed a family rift in the process
Grandma Joy Ryan, the 93-year-old behind @grandmajoysroadtrip on Instagram, says she's the "oldest old lady to ever visit every national park."
06/01/2023 04:50 AM
Individual cigarettes in Canada will soon carry health warnings
The move was first announced last year by Health Canada and is aimed at helping people quit the habit. The regulations take effect Aug. 1 and will be phased in.
05/31/2023 05:08 PM
National Eating Disorders Association phases out human helpline, pivots to chatbot
In recent years, the demands on the NEDA helpline, and the humans who ran it, escalated. The organization says it was unsustainable. But some have worries about new plans for an online chatbot.
05/31/2023 04:32 PM
A mother reacts to the bankruptcy deal involving Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Kara Trainor, whose son was born dependent on opioids because of her addiction, about what the Purdue Pharma settlement could mean for her and her family.
05/31/2023 08:52 AM
Debt limit deal claws back unspent COVID relief money
As part of spending negotiations between the White House and House Republicans, pandemic-era aid is getting pulled back. A document circulated by the White House shows what would be cut.
05/31/2023 05:15 AM
The number of Asians and Pacific Islanders with diabetes keeps going up
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at risk for developing diabetes at lower weights and younger ages than others. Doctors are working from the inside the community to make people healthier.
Copyright 2023 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.