Who doesn’t love a good smooch on the mouth before you’re heading out the door to your early morning meeting? Or a little peck on the cheek after a rough day? Kissing is something that we all do, day to day, to show the people we love that we truly care about them. But what if we were to tell you that there are legitimate health benefits to kissing? Read on to see five great reasons to pucker up.
It Helps You Pick a Mate Yep, it really is "in his kiss." Your lips are packed with nerve endings, and when you lean in for a smooch, your brain registers everything from your mate's taste to his temperature. Not only that, but your saliva contains a cocktail of hormones (dopamine, serotonin, estrogen and testosterone) that can tell you more about your partner's temperament than any first date conversation. All these sensations will cause your brain to give your new guy or gal the green light or send you running in the other direction.
Kissing is So the New Smiling. When you give your loved one a smooch, your brain releases the pleasure-causing chemical, dopamine, increasing feelings of happiness throughout the body. You'll also get a spike of a hormone called oxytocin, nicknamed the “love hormone”, which helps to calm the body and make it more tolerant to pain.
Feeling Stressed? Pucker Up. A 2009 study conducted by a professor and her students at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania found that cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for increasing stress in the body, were drastically reduced in kissing couples’ blood and saliva after a 15-minute make-out session.
What Doesn't Give You Mono Makes Your Stronger. Believe it or not, swapping spit can help boost your immunity and increase resistance to allergens. Recent studies have even gone as far as to encourage mothers to suck on their children’s pacifiers to help reduce their risks of developing allergies and asthma. But keep your kisses to only your honey – according to nurse practitioner, Mimi Secor, 80 percent of Americans have oral herpes. Yuck!
Let's Start Bonding. Oxytocin, the love hormone, can also increase the feelings of intimacy and tighten the bond between two lovers. A kiss between two people – be it your first kiss or a peck on the lips from your husband of 15 years - can help strengthen your connection. Interestingly enough, even a smooch on top of a newborn’s head will improve the bond between you and your little angel!