It seems that on an almost weekly basis we're told of a new, revolutionary health survey that will help you live longer, from regular sauna trips fighting heart disease, to restricting your soya milk intake to the third Tuesday of the month helping to prevent baldness (only one of which is true).
To help make sense of the many surveys, reports and vague pieces of advice flying about the internet, we compiled the most eye-catching health survey headlines from the last six months and broke down exactly what you can learn from them.
Some advice or our own? A pinch of salt will help you get through the following.
1 | Drink Beer To Prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease
According to a new piece of research carried out by scientists at Lanzhou University, China, an ingredient found in hops (xanthohumol) can help ward off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. It does this through promoting a steady oxygen supply to the brain, helping to protect against something called oxidative stress and keeping your brain healthier for longer.
2 | Visit A Sauna To Protect Against Heart Attacks And Strokes
A study conducted on Finnish men has shown that regular sauna use will help lower blood pressure and generally improve circulation, thus decreasing your chances of ever suffering a stroke, heart attack, or other heart-related conditions.
3 | Cook With Olive Oil To Destroy Cancer Cells
According to new research, oleocanthal, an ingredient found in extra virgin olive oil, can kill tumour cells by rupturing the cell's 'recycling centre' (or lysosome), releasing harmful enzymes that destroy the rest of the cell. As healthier cells are more robust, oleocanthal will simply put them out of action for 24 hours before they make a full recovery.
4 | Eat Rice, Chickpeas And Pumpkin Seeds To Boost Your Mood
A recent survey has shown that eating foods such as rice, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas will improve your mood much more effectively than crisps, cake or chocolate. This is because the former types of foods contain amino acids, which are needed to maintain levels of the mood-regulating compound, serotonin. Refined sugar and fats, on the other hand are of little use, other than the short time high you feel after eating a sweet 'treat'.
5 | Wear Suncream At Night To Prevent Skin Cancer
Because melanin pigments in the skin continue to transfer DNA-distorting UV energy to our cells up to four hours after we leave the beach, dermatologists at Yale are developing a suncream designed to be worn at night and block melanin activity, thereby helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
6 | Drink Red Wine To Break Down Your Fat Cells
A new survey claims the ellagic acid in red wine could improve liver function by slowing down the growth of existing fat cells and the formation of new ones, thereby boosting metabolism of fatty acids in the liver and also leading to lower blood sugar levels. However, researches at Oregon State University warn that 'we didn't find… that these compounds would improve body weight.' Basically, you'll need to eat well and hit the gym if you want to lose weight.
7 | Eat Beetroot To Improve Your Strength And Stamina
The purple-hued root vegetable can massively aid blood and oxygen flow to muscles, therefore helping to exploit your muscle's natural strength and stamina potential to the fullest. It also contains an amino acid called tryptophan that works to relax the mind and reduce stress.
8 | Take Painkillers To Slow The Ageing Process
Researchers at the Buck Institute For Research On Ageing in California have found that ibuprofen can add as much as 12 years to your life span by slowing down the ageing process. Research into exactly how this works is on-going, but initial tests on flies and worms have added 15 per cent to their lifespans, which equates to just over a decade more for humans.
9 | Drink Coffee To Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Depression And More
Coffee is increasingly gaining credibility as a hugely beneficial addition to your diet. Consensus is rapidly moving away from the idea that coffee can be harmful, backed by multiple studies that found up to three mugs a day can diminish the risk of: [deep breath] Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes, liver diseases, depression, suicide, respiratory diseases, strokes, and heart disease.
10 | Running More Slowly (And Less Frequently) Could Help You Live Longer
Research from the Copenhagen City Heart Study has found that 'strenuous joggers have a mortality rate not statistically different from that of the sedentary group.' What this means is that there's a risk of 'over doing it' and that those who run less frequently are likely to be the healthiest group, with 1- 2.4 hours per week associated with the lowest mortality rates.
11 | Nap More To Increase Your Pain Threshold
French researchers have found that after a sleepless night we're more receptive to heat, cold and pain on our upper and lower backs and thighs, with regular naps allowing more time for the body to repair damaged tissue and release the muscle-building growth hormone, meaning you should wake up feeling refreshed and comfortable.
12 | Drink Pomegranate Juice And Eat Dates To Prevent Heart Attacks
New research has found the antioxidants in pomegranates and dates (including the stones) work to reduce atherosclerosis - the process by which arteries become blocked by fat, leading to heart attacks – by up to 28%. As little as half a glass of pomegranate juice plus three dates a day is enough to make a difference.
13 | Eat Cocoa To Help Prevent Memory Loss
A new study from Columbia University has found that consuming 'phytonutrient' flavanols – found in cocoa – can reverse one or more aspects of normal memory loss. After submitting test subjects to 450mg of cocoa flavanols twice a day for three months, researchers found the subjects had improved remarkably on a visual memory test, with 60 year-olds performing at a 30 year-old level. It's unknown exactly why this work, but it's thought it could be to do with flavanols keeping blood vessels supple, thereby keeping the oxygen supply to the brain constant.
14 | Eat Cabbage To Help Prevent Cancer
Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts and kale have been found to prevent the development of cancer cells in humans, due to the presence of 'glucosinolates' and 'sulforaphanes', according to the US National Cancer Institute. Glucosinolates break down natural compounds into cancer-preventative substances, while sulforaphanes actively target cancer cells, preventing the cancer spreading or reoccurring.
15 | Stay Single To Live Over 100
Emma Morano, a 115 year-old Italian woman, has attributed her longevity to singlehood. While it's difficult to measure the exact number of years staying single can add to your life, research suggests being alone means you're less likely to gain weight, will exercise more regularly, and will be less stressed – all of which leads to a generally healthier body and mind.
Any we've missed?