Sweaty palms, racing heart, awkward nose bumps: kisses can be sweet, sexy, exhilarating and sometimes a little stressful. But did you know it can also be good for your health? There’s a good reason a solid make out session can leave you feeling a little high on life: kisses set off a cascade of hormones and physiological changes that can boost your mood, strengthen your relationship and even burn some calories (between 5 and 26 per minute, according to experts). Believe it or not, there are even more great reasons to keep puckering up – check out these three scientifically backed benefits of kissing:
If your partner is driving you crazy, schedule some regular make outs to take the edge off. According to researchers from Arizona State University, couples who kicked up the frequency of their kissing a notch for six weeks had less perceived stress, improved relationship satisfaction and lower total serum cholesterol.
Believe it or not, puckering up has actually been shown to alleviate allergy symptoms. Japanese researcher Hajime Kimata studied 24 patients with eczema and 24 patients with hay fever who were allergic to house dust mites and cedar pollen. According to Kimata, the subjects were “Japanese, and they do not kiss habitually.”
According to a study published in the journal Microbiome, kissing is a prime way to spread germs–but that’s actually a good thing. For every 10 seconds of kissing, you pass along 80 million bacteria that may help your partner fight off future infections, and vice versa. Mixing your unique individual blends of living bacteria will also apparently enable you both to cope with similar infections. The researchers say the immune-boosting results were most pronounced “in couples with relatively high intimate kiss frequency,” so if you haven’t already, take that as an incentive to find a make-out partner you really want to keep around.