| 7 weird health tips that are actually true

When you were a child, your mother probably warned you never to swallow chewing gum as it would get stuck in your gut. Another example is that if your got a seed or pip got in your ear, a tree would start growing inside your head.

We all know that these are just scary tales, but there are in fact a number of seemingly ridiculous health tips that are actually quite true.

The following seven health tips may seem weird, but can help you improve your health and in one instance even save your life:

1. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating

It’s better not to brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they contained a lot of acid. Examples are citrus fruits, tomatoes and fizzy drinks. The abrasive action of brushing can cause the acid to attack the tooth enamel and the layer underneath. It is best to wait at least half an hour before brushing. 

2. Build muscle to fit into a smaller size

A kilogram of muscle weighs the same as a kilo of fat, but muscle is more compact and takes up less space than fat. This explains why a muscular person who weighs the same as a chubbier one will likely fit into a smaller pair of jeans.

3. Eat more calories to lose weight

Carbohydrates on their own may do nothing but spike your blood sugar, leaving you even hungrier than before. Adding proteins and fats like peanut butter and cheese will increase the calorie count of your meal, but will help you get full more quickly and stay satisfied for longer, which will lead to ingesting fewer calories in the long run.

4. Drink a hot beverage to help you cool off

In India it is the norm to drink hot tea in hot weather. It sounds crazy, but according to a study, a hot drink will cool you off faster than a cold drink on a hot day. When you drink a hot beverage, your body produces more sweat which, when it evaporates, cools you off.

5. Exercise to increase your energy levels

After a long day at work, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do, but getting moving can actually energise you. Through exercise, we recharge tired cells by giving them more oxygen. Physical activity that builds muscle strength also improves the efficiency of the mitochondria that produce the energy in the cells.

6. ‘Freeze’ cardiac patients to save their life

Cooling a cardiac arrest patient’s core temperature to below 32.2 degrees Celsius – a process called “induced hypothermia”, either by injecting them with a cold saline solution or placing ice packs on them increases their chances of complete recovery.

Hypothermia – when your core body temperature drops so low that normal metabolism and bodily functions cease – can lead to death, but can also radically slow down the dying process.

7. Close the lid when you flush the toilet

You should always flush the toilet with the seat down. If you don’t, water particles from the toilet will float around your bathroom and finally land on surfaces like your toothbrush. 

Experts say flushing creates an invisible cloud, called “toilet plume”, that’s expelled into the air by the force of the flush.

The toilet plume may contain faecal bacteria and other microorganisms like viruses. 

Image credit: iStock | More than 10 reasons why rooibos is good for you

Many South Africans enjoy a cup of rooibos tea. And with good reason! Rooibos is packed with health benefits.

Rooibos gets its vibrant colour during the post-harvest fermentation process and contains no colourants or preservatives.

Today we celebrate the first annual National Rooibos Day, which aims to raise awareness of the health benefits and many uses of rooibos tea.

The following Health24 articles explain why rooibos tea is good for your health:

Can rooibos protect you from the effects of UVB exposure?

You can drink it hot or cold, in a cocktail or mocktail. The fact is, rooibos tea is a versatile brew. Researchers have discovered that rooibos extracts have the ability to remove precancerous damaged cells and also block the onset of inflammation from skin exposed to UV rays. 

The health benefits of rooibos

Research shows that rooibos can help prevent cancer, protect the liver against disease, boost the immune system, relieve allergies and treat many disorders.

Rooibos – why it’s good for you

Made from the red bush trees that grow in the Cederberg, the medicinal value of rooibos is seemingly endless. It’s an excellent source of antioxidants: it’s packed with health-boosting polyphenols and contains a unique antioxidant called aspalathin. 

Cups of rooibos tea on table

Can rooibos help you lose weight?

It turns out that one of the best kept weight-loss secrets could already be in your kitchen as research finds that just one cup of rooibos tea every day can help you lose as much as a kilo a month. 

Rooibos tea could be a good way to prevent kids overeating

Most parents and teachers recognise that a child can’t learn on an empty stomach, but busy mothers packing lunchboxes often don’t give as much thought to hydration.

Child drinking rooibos tea

South African rooibos and honeybush teas could fight cancer

Your much-loved cup of rooibos or honeybush tea not only tastes great – research shows that it may help to ward off cancer too. 

Image credits: iStock

NEXT ON HEALTH24X | 3 ways to feel better about yourself in 2018

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of New Year’s resolutions. You’re determined to lose weight, quit smoking and get rock-solid abs. But have you considered being kinder towards yourself? 

It might make a world of difference, says one expert. 

A major problem globally

“Consider what is really going to make you happier and healthier in 2018: losing 5kg or losing harmful attitudes about your body,” said Pamela Keel, a professor and body image researcher at Florida State University.

Yes, more weight can contribute to bad health, but according to a previous Health24 article, a bad self-esteem can also have far-reaching effects on your health. 

Body dissatisfaction is a major problem globally, especially among young women, Keel noted. Much of that has to do with media images.

“There’s a big gap between what we’re shown as being ideal and what to aspire to and where we actually are as a population,” she said in a university news release. “That leaves people feeling bad about themselves, and, unfortunately, feeling bad about your body does not actually motivate a person to pursue healthy behaviour.”

What to do?

Certain steps can help improve body satisfaction, Keel said.

1. Mirror, mirror

For instance, she suggests standing in front of a full-length mirror in little or no clothing and pinpointing positive body traits. This can include specific functions of body parts.

“You would say, ‘I really appreciate the way my legs take me wherever I need to go. Every day without fail, they get me out of bed, to the car, up the stairs and into the office. I don’t have to worry about walking.'”

“It can be that kind of functional appreciation of what your body does for you,” she said.

woman looking in mirror

2. Pick one feature

Or, you might focus on appreciating a body feature – such as your skin or the shape of your shoulders or neck.

“You can even go for higher-risk body parts,” Keel said. “Rather than looking at yourself and saying, ‘I hate my gut,’ you could say, ‘I really like the shape of my legs.’

“If there is something about you that you like, the idea is to spend time focusing on it,” she said.

woman looking in mirror

3. Just do it

Another approach is to think about specific activities you avoid because of body issues – wearing a bathing suit or not wearing shorts, for instance – and then deciding to do them.

“Most people experience a sense of freedom when they realise that nothing bad will happen if they wear a swimsuit or shorts in public – everyone is completely fine with it,” Keel said. “This reinforces body acceptance through experience.”

swimming pool

Image credits: iStock