In fact, there are not so many unconditionally useful and unconditionally harmful things in our life. Of course, there are some things that do not raise questions.
For example, there’s no real benefit to smoking even on close inspection (although the tobacco companies are still trying).
But in general, much that we used to consider harmful in the context of a healthy lifestyle can be viewed from a different angle. Let’s do it right now.
The recommendation that foods high in fat should be avoided has long been questioned by doctors and scientists.
The American Heart Association, for example, recommends eating fat regularly. Another thing is that there should be more unsaturated (healthy) in the diet than saturated ones.
That is, let nuts, avocados, milk and dairy products and vegetable oils form the fat basis of the diet, and meat, especially processed, cakes and fast food, on the contrary, let it be smaller.
There is no need to exclude anything. The main thing is moderation.
There is nothing wrong with drinking coffee every day. At a minimum, this drink really energizes us, at a maximum it contains antioxidants that have a positive effect on all body systems.
Coffee has even been shown to reduce cancer risk through these benefits.
You should drink less if you are literally shaking from coffee. This is called caffeine sensitivity and applies not only to the flavored drink, but also to strong tea, energy drinks, and for some, dark chocolate.
And also coffee drunk in the afternoon can cause additional sleep problems in people who do not sleep well without it.
In other cases, you can enjoy it without fear.
The only thing worth limiting is 400 milligrams per day (3-4 standard cups) and 200 milligrams per day (1-2 cups) for pregnant women and teenagers.
If anyone has ever told you that chewing gum helps you focus (or maybe you noticed it yourself?), then know that there is some truth in this.
Although chewing is not strongly associated with the rules of etiquette, it has been shown by researchers from Cardiff University to be effective in reducing stress levels and improving alertness.
And in another study, chewing gum was found to be good for both short-term and long-term memory. Therefore, it can be used when you need to learn a large amount of information.
Wine and beer
Let’s start with the main thing: there are no safe doses of alcohol and the risks here outweigh any benefits. So if the choice is between drinking or not drinking at all, then, of course, it is better not to drink.
But if you’ve never planned on giving up alcohol and just want to know if it has any nice perks, then yes, they do.
Red wine is rich in antioxidants, so all the benefits that we talked about in the paragraph about coffee can be applied to it too. Beer, in turn, contains calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, which come here from grains.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that people who regularly drank a glass of wine or a glass of beer were more likely to reach age 85 without cognitive decline than those who drank little or no alcohol.
Although, when analyzing such results, one should always take into account that healthy people can drink more simply because they feel good.
In general, sleep experts do not recommend daytime naps, noting that it can disrupt sleep-wake cycles, make it harder to fall asleep at night, and affect sleep quality.
But, on the other hand, there is a study by the American College of Cardiology, which showed that those of the participants in the experiment who took a nap at noon, blood pressure returned to normal, which did not happen in those who did not (it seems that the siesta was not invented just).
Another small study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, found that for people who were deprived of a night’s sleep, a 30-minute nap during the day was equivalent to a 10-hour nap.
As the authors write, daytime sleep in this case helped return key immunity biomarkers, which are traditionally disturbed if we sleep poorly, to normal levels.
And at Harvard University they are quite sure that some people need daytime sleep to maintain energy and attention.
It is better to sleep during the day for no longer than 20 minutes, and ideally you should do it in the morning.
But if you regularly lack sleep, work night shifts, or take online courses at night because there is no time for them during the day, then the habit of taking a nap can save you from chronic sleep deprivation.
It seems that no one doubts that solariums are harmful for a long time. But as for regular tanning and outdoor sunlight, they help our body produce the “almighty” vitamin D. This vitamin is needed for many processes in our body, but its main function is mood regulation.
A study was published in one of the main scientific journals The Lancet, which showed that after just a week of increased exposure to the sun on the experiment participants, their mood improved significantly. Therefore, do not forget about sunscreen, glasses and a hat – and go ahead in the sun.
Food for the night
The phrase that eating at night is harmful also has almost no scientific support.
Doctors only mention that a couple of hours before bedtime it is useful to avoid fatty and spicy foods, which activate the digestive process and can interfere with sleep.
In general, it is worth giving up food half an hour before bedtime, but this is also with reservations. Because if you feel hungry, it will be almost more difficult to fall asleep than if you overeat.
One study found that people who eat late at night tend to eat more during the day.
But on the other hand, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that changing the time of dinner from “before 8 pm” to “after 8 pm” had no effect on participants’ weight.
Therefore, even this perceived disadvantage (definitely not for everyone it will be a problem) is still to be studied and studied.
The great and terrible social networks are also not so bad for our health. Yes, they can push some to procrastinate.
And yes, social media has a problem with representation: some people, comparing beautiful pictures of friends, acquaintances or celebrities with their “boring and gray” life, can become anxious and upset.
But many studies in which social networks were recognized as absolute evil were conducted with errors.
But, for example, in a study published in the journal Psychological Science, it was found that their active use is not harmful for most adolescents.
And even useful, as it allows you to stay in touch with those who are far away, and receive emotional support “in one click.” The sample at the same time amounted to 120 thousand people, so the results can definitely be called representative.
It is believed that constant notifications on the phone or on the computer are distracting, unnerving and simply interfere with life.
The problem is being discussed on such a large scale that many tech giants are working on features right now that can reduce “technology dependence”. However, this medal also has a downside.
First of all, there are no studies that show that blocking notifications significantly affects mental health.
But there is a study that showed that complete silence made people even more tense than before.
Although, to be fair, when we conducted another experiment, it became clear that for optimal well-being, it is better to receive notifications not in real time, but in batches.
So, apparently, in phones, we need a button to turn off completely for a short period (for example, for half an hour or an hour), and not to turn off at all.