Quinn on Nutrition: Laughter truly is good medicine

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When my grandkids say something humorous, I reach for a piece of paper to jot it down for future smiles. I recently found these two chuckles among my treasures:

Frances (age 6): “Grammy, why do you always drink coffee?

Me: Because I love to drink coffee in the morning.

Frances: “Oh…because you can’t grow anymore?”

Frances (now age 7) was working diligently on her reading and spelling homework.

“What language are you learning?” I tested her.

“English…it’s a very hard language to learn.”

“It certainly is,” I said. “And think how hard it would be if you didn’t grow up learning English! Like, if you moved here from…”


Even in the midst of these troubling days, we can do our minds and bodies well with an occasional chuckle. Medical research has found that laughter therapy — the use of humor to improve our sense of well-being — is good medicine. Besides being inexpensive and natural, amusement can help relieve pain and stress and may even strengthen our immune system. And we can use it even when we are socially isolated. So, in the tradition of April 1, here are some groaners to help you smile:

Woman talking to her friend: “I just burned 2000 calories in 20 minutes.”

Friend: “How did you do that?!”

Woman: “I forgot to take my brownies out of the oven.”

Q: What does a grape say when you step on it?

A: Nothing, it just lets out a little wine.

A farmer’s son was coming home from the market with a crate of chickens his father had entrusted to him. Unexpectedly, the box fell and broke open and chickens scurried off in every direction. The boy repaired the cage the best he could and searched all over the neighborhood to find the wayward birds. When they were safely caught, he returned home, dreading what his dad might say.

“Pa, the chickens got loose,” he confessed, “but I found all 12 of them.”

“Well, you did real good son,” the farmer beamed. “You left with seven.”

Q: How did the organic vegetable die?

A: Natural causes.

A kindergarten teacher gave her class a “show and tell” assignment. Each student was instructed to bring in an object that represented their religion to share with the class.

The first student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Benjamin and I am Jewish and this is a Star of David.”

The second student got up and said, “My name is Mary. I’m a Catholic and this is a Rosary.”

The third student got in up front of the class and said, “My name is Tommy. I am Baptist and this is a casserole.”

May we continue to find ways to cheer one another.


(Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator affiliated with Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. She is the author of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition” (Westbow Press, 2015). Email her at to barbara@quinnessentialnutrition.com.)


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