Health trends lately are a dime a dozen. For every concern you have, there is an exercise regimen or a diet that promises you results. You begin to wonder, what is a myth and what is conjecture. Has medicine become so infiltrated by commerce that it is being used as a marketing gimmick?
Amidst all the noise of ‘try this’ and ‘avoid that,’ it would be a good idea to read widely before you practice. Not every recommendation would be a good fit for you simply because it worked for someone else. Learning the pros and cons of them will help you make an informed decision.
To get you started, here is a look at some popular health trends and their benefits or lack thereof.
It is easy to underestimate yoga as a collection of contortionist positions. However medical evidence would prove you wrong. Studies have proven that different yoga positions improve blood circulation and help burn bad cholesterol in the body. In addition, they also build muscle tone, flexibility, and improve balance even in the elderly.
If you have been feeling anxious lately, you may also want to get on a mat. Poses and breathing exercises induce a state of calmness in your body by helping lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as ‘the stress hormone’ and it is likely the reason you are also sleeping poorly.
There have been numerous research studies that have proven yoga to have many other benefits. That said, a quick look at them will make you realize that yoga is not magic. You have to, for example, eat better for it to help you lower your cholesterol. All factors considered, it is definitely not a trend based on myth.
No one seems to really explain the science behind acupuncture so it often comes across as some voodoo involving needles. It is more complex than that. Acupuncture needles are inserted in studied nerve points in the human body. The nerves nudge the brain to release endorphins which are pain-reducing hormones.
What’s the point you ask? For starters, pain management. People with chronic illnesses suffer through debilitating amounts of pain and have to stay heavily medicated. Acupuncture has been medically proven to help with chronic pain and be an alternative for some patients.
Acupuncturists capitalize on the connection between nerves and hormones to address other bodily issues too. Such issues include infertility which is largely based on hormonal function. However, the evidence of improved chronic infertility after acupuncture is scarce at best.
Plastic Vs Glass
Before companies discovered that plastic is cheaper for packaging purposes, glass held pride of place. Nevertheless, in light of BPA in plastic and its health effects, things are likely to change.
Bisphenol. A, commonly referred to as BPA, is a harmful chemical used in making most plastics.
Research has linked it to development problems in children and negative effects in fetal brains. According to the FDA, food packaged with plastic shows very low levels of BPA if at all. That said, there is an increased risk where plastic is exposed to heat. Given as most people microwave their foods in plastic, it is cause for alarm.
It may be ill-advised to test your luck, especially, with the health of your children. Further, if you are in business, customers may be more comfortable if you use safer alternatives. There are non-toxic glass bottles for soda, milk, and even products like cosmetics in the market.
So, in the battle between plastic and glass, where do you stand now?
Everyone has a different reason why they are or have been on a diet. It could be on doctors’ orders or as is often the case, to work on certain body image concerns. The underlying question is if they really do work and whether they are indeed healthy. Some examples include:
As the name suggests, you would alternate between eating and then fasting for different blocks of time. During the fasting time, your body will rely on stored body fat which helps in weight loss. Fasting can also trigger a slow metabolism to be more active.
Intermittent fasting may be a myth for you if you overcompensate during the eating periods. When the body has been starved for a while, it works to absorb more nutrients when you finally eat. It may thus result in weight gain as opposed to weight loss in some people.
A ketogenic diet is tailored to have low-carbs, high fat, and sufficient protein. When your body is starved of carbohydrates which are energy-building foods, it goes into ketosis. In a state of ketosis, your body is essentially a fat-burning machine to sustain the production of energy.
The bottom line is that most users benefit from keto diets. Nonetheless, before you get on one, consult your physician, and work through it with them. It is not suitable for everyone due to some risks associated with it which may outweigh the gains.
You may have been toying with the idea of taking on the natural trend that is currently hot in the market. Aside from the slightly higher price tags on natural products, you may be wondering if you are just being sold a bottle of goo.
It would be a blanket argument to state that all-natural products are good. Still, they are definitely better than those filled with artificial preservatives and toxic active agents. The side effects of parabens are certainly not mythical, which makes the natural skincare trend worth exploring.
The trends discussed here are only a scratch on the surface. There are many more out there that consumers blindly sign up for. Health is an easy ruse to use because everyone wants to live long full lives. However, as you may have noticed, there are dangers lurking in the fine print below the list of benefits.
Try not to get caught up in the hype. There is power in making an informed choice.