More Weird & Strange Health Facts
Did you get my email on strange health facts a few weeks ago?
I wrote about four strange health facts most people don’t know. Heck, at one point in time I didn’t even know those facts - but that’s not surprising, as I’m always learning something new.
As promised, I wanted to follow that email with another one about even more strange health facts.
I’ve got five here, and some of them are quite surprising (especially since they’re true):
1 - How Lying Makes You Sick:
The University of Notre Dame conducted a study of what happens to people when they lie. Surprisingly, the researchers found being dishonest might actually harm your health.
They discovered people who told lies were more likely to suffer from:
-- Sore throats
Curious what the causation might be? Apparently it’s the stress.
In the study, the researchers followed 110 people ranging from 18 to 71 years of age for a 10-week span.
50% of the participants agreed they would stop telling lies of any kind (was that a lie?), whereas the other group wasn’t directed to stop lying at all.
Then, every week, the participants were administered polygraph tests so the researchers could figure out what kind of lies they were telling.
At the end of the study, the researchers noted the people who stopped lying experienced an increase in health.
“Her team found that participants who began telling the truth more often experienced 54 percent fewer mental health complaints (such as anxiety or feeling blue) over the course of the study, and 56 percent fewer physical health complaints (such as nausea or headaches). Subjects who began telling the truth more often also reported happier relationships and improved social interactions.”
2 - Chew Gum To Become A Temporary Genius:
Ok, don’t take the “temporary genius” remark as medical advice - I’m exaggerating more than a little bit.
However, chewing gum will definitely boost your mental ability for a short time. Here’s how it works…
Researchers at Coventry University discovered people who chewed mint-flavored gum experienced all kinds of positive health benefits, including a boost in energy and mental acuity.
Separate studies have even shown chewing gum can increase memory retention by as much as 3%.
The reason this is believed to work is several-fold. Some researchers suspect the simple act of chewing gum activates our body’s reward system, which stimulates the brain. Another theory is the act of chewing gum tricks the body into expecting nutrients, which can temporarily put the body in a state of alertness.
While we don’t know precisely what causes chewing gum to make us “smarter” for a moment, there is a wide body of evidence showing it to be true.
3 - Workout When You’re Tired For More Energy:
One of the most common excuses people give for not working out is “I’m too tired.”
And while most Americans are sleep-deprived (another subject altogether), they can still get a second wind if they workout during the day.
A study by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise observed when people who claim to be “too tired to workout” perform 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, they experience an increase in energy and a decrease in fatigue.
The reason this works is because moderate exercise increases the flow of oxygen in the body, which helps energize it.
Another reason exercise helps to boost energy levels is because most people claiming to be “too tired for exercise” are sedentary by nature. This inactivity causes energy to leave the body. However, when a person engages in “primal movements,” this engages energy systems which bring the body to full alert.
As Tim Puetz of the University of Georgia said, “We have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy — particularly in sedentary individuals.”
4- Increase Brainpower Using This Elementary School Practice:
Most of us (including myself) have an “unhealthy” reliance on computers and other technological devices.
And while we might feel really intelligent using our smartphones and laptops, it would appear using them can actually impede our mental development.
In fact, it’s been shown taking notes by hand engages a part of the brain that technology can’t access, thus increasing brainpower.
Dr. Towfigh of Indiana University has cited his research showing the positive effects of handwritten notes on the brain.
As Towgifh says, “ When you take handwritten notes you 'process' or learn more information. You begin the learning process as you listen to the lecture." Plus, since you look at the page on which you are writing, you naturally review the material and reinforce the information you've already processed.”
5 - Don’t Eat To Gain Muscle And Feel Better:
It’s been awhile since I’ve written on the subject of intermittent fasting, but it’s worth mentioning again because of its unique power to alter health.
Intermittent fasting is the act of not eating for a scheduled 16 hours (generally from 8pm to noon) in order to help spark the body into undergoing some dramatic physiological changes.
The only time you eat is in your window of 8 hours...so from noon - 8 pm.
This main thing this period of fasting does is burn through your body’s stored fat and glycogen supplies.
Here’s what happens during that time:
You Burn Fat: Since you’re not bringing in any new forms of energy (fat/sugar/complex carbs) your body burns through its glycogen first (stored carbs), and then fat. String a few days together like this, and you’ll find yourself losing weight. This is because you’re probably operating at a calorie deficit, and also because your body has most likely switched into ketosis (where it uses fat for energy).
Improve Gut Health: As you likely know, bacteria (both good and bad) live inside of your gut. And when the bad bacteria are constantly fed a diet of sugars, it’ll continue to grow.
Starve that bad bacteria and they’ll die off, resulting in a healthier gut.
It Helps Boost Human Growth Hormone: Several studies have shown if you fast, it can cause the release of HDH (Human Growth Hormone), which often declines as we age.
It Improves Brainpower: Intermittent fasting produces a specific protein known to help increase brainpower. This protein, called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), builds the pathways which essential neurotransmitters (like dopamine and serotonin) travel on.
We know that intestinal health and BDNF are connected, and it’s believed caloric restrictions cause BDNF to surge.
I truly believe intermittent fasting is one of the untapped goldmines for better health. However, I suggest talking to your physician directly before engaging in this activity.
There's Always More To Learn
Well, I hope you learned a few things by reading this.
Believe me, there’s a lot more information like this out there, and I encourage you to seek it out to help further your learning.
Always do your research, as it's the key to helping you make informed decisions about your health!