Health

Lifestyle

Feb 5, 2018

Kissing your way to better health

Over 90% of the world’s population engages in kissing in one form or another. And we’re not alone! Chimpanzees will often kiss one another after a fight, Bonobos have been observed engaging in French kissing and countless other species – from squirrels, to bears, to elephants – engage in what might be described as kissing.

So apart from the fact that it feels good, just what purpose does kissing have? And what is it that makes us all so inclined to continue locking lips?

We’ve done the research, and it turns out that a passionate kiss triggers a whole range of physiological processes that can boost the immune system and improve overall health.

Point taken. Now get kissing. ASAP!

Kissing boosts the immune system
Kissing has been shown to boost your immune system. By swapping saliva, partners introduce each other to bacteria that they may encounter later on, making them more equipped to ward off future infections.

It can also reduce your blood pressure
Kissing also helps to dilate your blood vessels, which may help lower your blood pressure.

And relieve cramps and headaches
Blood-vessel-dilation also helps to relieve pain, particularly from headaches or cramps.

Kissing can help to relieve stress
People who kiss more often report significant decreases in their levels of stress and greater relationship satisfaction(1).

And it makes you feel happy
Kissing prompts your brain to release a happy potion of feel-good chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, triggering an increase in happiness. And the smiles don’t stop there, this chemical concoction may also strengthen your sense of bonding and benefit your relationship.

Kissing burns calories
It’s not going to replace your workout session… but a really passionate kiss may burn 8-16 calories. Not bad for a kiss!

And tones your facial muscles
A vigorous kiss exercises all of the underlying muscles of the face, which can help you shape up your neck and jawline. Some say it could even keep you looking younger!

It doesn’t replace a toothbrush – but kissing can fight cavities
When you kiss, saliva production increases in your mouth, and this helps to wash away plaque on your teeth that may lead to cavities. That said, cavity-causing bacteria can also be transmitted via a kiss, especially if the person you’re kissing has poor oral habits(1).

Kissing might even help make healthier babies
Because a kiss puts two people in very close proximity, it allows us to pick up subconscious clues about the other person’s DNA or reproductive status. Studies show that women are most attracted to the scent of men who have different genetic codes for their immune system(2). Pairing off with a partner who has a different set of genetics for immunity can lead to children that will have a higher level of genetic diversity, making them healthier and more likely to survive.

References:
1. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/30/8-kissing-benefits.aspx
2. https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/05/where-did-kissing-come-from/