Your mom always said that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince …but whoever said that was a bad thing? From burning calories to offsetting signs of aging, it turns out that kissing has scientifically proven health benefits.
So go ahead — pucker up!
Here are 7 health benefits of locking lips, confirms research;
1. Kissing prevents cavities.
Who would ever guess that spit-swapping kinda had the same effect as mouthwash? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, saliva helps build tooth enamel and all that extra saliva built up in a tongue-tangling Frencher washes the bacteria off your teeth, which in turn helps break down oral plaque.
2. Kissing burns calories.
We wouldn’t recommend giving up that hour at the gym, still, locking lips is a serious workout for your face. Experts estimate that one minute of passionate kissing can burn anywhere between 2 to 5 calories.
3. Kissing strengthens your immune system.
It may sound counterintuitive, but swapping spit is a great way to fend off the common cold. Research published in Medical Hypotheses suggests that kissing is actually an evolutionary adaptation to protect against the cytomegalovirus.
And if you suffer from allergies, a kiss from your partner can keep you strong. A study published in Physiology & Behavior proved that kissing can improve your resistance to having an allergic reaction.
Researchers studied 60 people with skin or nasal allergies. They all spent 30 minutes in a private room French kissing their spouse while listening to romantic music. They asked another group to do the same, but hug — no lip-locking allowed. The results? The researchers concluded that the kissing reduced their allergic reactions.
4. Kissing lowers your stress level.
Sensuality — from kissing to touching to …well, you know — keeps us relaxed. To test the theory, researchers from Arizona State University asked 52 people to spend six weeks making smooching a priority in their everyday lives. By the end of the test period, not only did they feel closer to their significant others, but they were significantly less stressed based on a psychological stress scale.
5. Kissing reduces blood pressure.
All that heart-racing lip-smacking is healthy for your ticker. Research shows that kissing dilates your blood vessels and therefore, helps reduce blood pressure.
6. Kissing relieves pain.
Kissing releases all kinds of natural feel-good chemicals in the body and these endorphins have proven to be even more powerful than morphine to relieve pain. Specifically, research published in the online medical journal PLoS One found that these hormones are akin to the benefits of a pain reliever.
7. Kissing gives your brain and body a boost of happy chemicals.
There’s nothing that unwinds you more than melting in the arms of someone you love … and those butterflies-in-your-stomach feelings you get from a swoon-worthy kiss just sets you into paradise, right? There’s a science behind that. Kissing stimulates the release of oxytocin (the “love hormone”), endorphins, and dopamine, which all mix together as a cocktail for health!
After all, these chemicals boost your mood and your libido, proving that all that lovin’ is just what the doctor ordered.
Alexandra Churchill is a digital editor who currently works for Martha Stewart Living. Her work has been featured on numerous sites including The Huffington Post, Her Campus, USA TODAY College, and Northshore and Ocean Home magazines.