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Things which might be GOOD for you

1. Skipping

Was shown to suppress appetite making it a perfect form of exercise for fat loss. The suggestion is that it lowers the hormones which stimulate appetite but also that the up and down movement disturbs the gut and therefore your desire to eat afterwards.

2. Boredom/Limiting Food Choices

Has been shown to be an effective diet. Many of you will have experienced this but if you serve the same meals regularly every week people appear to lose some interest in food and therefore consume fewer calories. The take home from this when dieting is to stick to the same/similar healthy meals and rotate them.

3. Choirs

Singing in a group has a calming effect on those who participate. Singers' breathing and heart beats synchronise with the music so songs with long phrases achieve the same, if not better, effect as breathing exercises or yoga.

4. Garlic

Seems to reduce your odds of lung cancer. It's thought that allacin reduces inflammation in the body but it's not known whether cooked garlic has the same effect so if you want to get the benefit with the bad breath you take a supplement.

5. Dark Chocolate/Cocoa

Hot chocolate has been shown to starve off dementia and help with memory tests by improving blood flow in the brain by 8%. It's thought flavanoids in cocoa boost circulation

6. Nuts

Appear to significantly increase longevity. A study on 120,000 people over 30 years showed that the more nuts people ate over the study the less likely they were to die. A daily portion appeared to cut fatality rate by 20%

7. Sleep

Sleep doesn't just restore energy levels and provide many other benefits, it also clears the brain of harmful toxins. When we sleep our body pumps 10 x as much cerebral fluid through the brain which flushes toxins into the liver for processing.

Things which might be BAD for you:

1. Facebook

Makes people feel less happy and satisfied with their lives. These sites are designed to promote an idealised view of users lives. Several studies last year showed the more people use social media the the worse they report feeling because they feel envious and dissatisfied with their own lives.

2. Sitting

Yet again several studies have shown prolonged sitting is bad for you, raising the risk of diabetes, and heart disease. Whilst exercise and gym training help to lower the risk extended sitting at work or at home still leads to a higher health risk. The key is simply to stand and move as often as possible whilst commuting, at work and at home.

3. Driving

Driving was also under the spot light as a cancer risk. People don't often apply sunscreen on warm days before long car journeys and don't realise that although UVB rays can't penetrate glass, the harmful UVA rays, which age skin and cause cancer, can and do.

4. Head Trauma/Concussions

A slightly personal and topical one this but only because I have been lucky to only pay a small price for ignoring head bumps when others have not been so lucky. Several reviews into concussion in 2013 showed that damage to the brain can last for decades after the original head trauma leading to cognitive, physical and emotional symptoms for years. If you ever bang you head or suffer any unusual headaches etc see a Dr asap

5. Artificial Sweeteners

Trigger reactions in receptors on the tongue which stimulate the body to release hormones such as insulin. Previous studies have also demonstrated that sweeteners don't always help with calorie reduction as people who use them tend to eat more whilst doing so. Whilst this study stopped short of declaring whether the effects of sweeteners was harmful or not, they did see a clear elevated insulin response which they suggest could be detrimental because when people constantly secrete high levels of insulin it can lead to type 2 diabetes.

6. Statins

Whilst these have probably helped many people at high risk avoid cardiac episodes, more stories emerged in 2013 suggesting the side effects are worse than previously thought and that 1 in 3 patients prescribed them did not need them. If you or loved ones are worried about cholesterol exercise and diet should be the first port of call.

7. Male Pattern Baldness

Has shown to be linked to a higher risk of heart disease. We'll ignore this one!

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