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30+ Interesting Health Facts: Green Tea, Guavas & Saunas - Blog

30+ Interesting Health Facts: Green Tea, Guavas & Saunas

1. Did you know that people who laugh a lot tend to live longer?

Laughter not only improves your mood and reduces stress levels, but it can also help your body resist disease and lower your blood pressure.  

2. Did you know, a cup of green tea can contain up to half as much caffeine as a strong coffee?

Actually, the level of caffeine in green tea varies greatly, between different types and also depending on how long it’s brewed. Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid, which has a calming effect that helps to focus the mind. This in combination with its caffeine content means that green tea can be just as effective as coffee in providing a sense of focus and alertness. Green tea is also high in antioxidants, which decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and other age-related problems.  

3. Did you know guavas have about four times the amount of vitamin C as oranges?

Per 100g, guavas contain about 225mg (depending on the variety) and oranges have about 50mg per 100g. The recommended daily vitamin C intake is usually 75mg. Guavas are also high in vitamin A and several of the B vitamins as well as magnesium.  

4. Did you know, spending lots of time in a sauna increases your life expectancy?

According to alternative health expert, Dr Mercola, “the more you use the sauna, the better”. Regular saunas are associated particularly with lowering your risk of a heart attack and other cardiovascular disease.  

5. Did you know that magnesium deficiency is statistically more likely to lead to heart disease than high cholesterol?

Magnesium, an essential mineral, is critical for mitochondrial function and metabolic processes in human cells. It also helps relax blood vessels and regulate blood pressure, and low magnesium has actually been identified as the most reliable predictor of heart disease.  

6. Did you know that fasting can help to fight free radicals?

This is especially true for an increase in free radicals at a mitochondrial level, which can trigger all sorts of diseases. Both exercise and caloric restriction (intermittent fasting) can help your mitochondria (the energy producing structures inside cells) eliminate free radicals as well as carrying out all their functions more efficiently. Mitochondria are also responsible for regulating cell death, growth and differentiation.  

7. Healthy fasting means different things for different people.

You shouldn’t fast just to lose weight (it doesn’t work). But if you already have a healthy diet, fasting for 14-24 hours one or two days a week can improve your mitochondrial function and reduce your risk of age-related diseases.  

8. At least 30% of antibiotic prescriptions in the US are unnecessary

According to a 2016 study. This translates to a whopping 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in the US alone, researchers estimate.  

9. Sleep deprivation can cause your appetite to increase because it disrupts the balance of hormones that regulate your normal appetite, making you feel hungrier.

10. Did you know that vitamin D deficiency can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome?

According to the most recent research, 70% of people with IBS, who took vitamin D as part of a series of studies, showed an improvement, and about 75% of people with IBS were shown to be deficient in vitamin D.  

11. Did you know that eating the meat of animals treated with antibiotics is contributing to drug-resistant disease in humans?

Farmed animals are fed antibiotics to reduce their chance of getting diseases at the same time as stimulating growth. This is quite commonly used as a preventative rather than a last resort. This gives the bacteria plenty of practice to evolve and become resistant to the limited range of antibiotics we have. This problem is then passed on to humans who eat meat and other animal products, and can cause drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans. One way to break the cycle is to only buy organic meat and other animal produce.  

12. Did you know that the all blood vessels of an average adult, placed end to end, would circle the earth more than twice? There are approximately 100,000km of blood vessels in your body, and the circumference of the earth is about 40,000km.

13. Did you know that eating crunchy food can increase the growth of new brain cells?

According to neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret, the rate of growth of new cells in the hippocampus area of the brain can be increased by a combination of physical and mental activity and nutrition. One of things that seems to trigger neurogenesis is eating textured foods that require you to chew and crunch. Strenuous physical activity, including sex, is also indicated, as is learning something new, and intermittent fasting. Thuret also stresses eating a diet containing a balance of essential nutrients.  

14. Did you know you have a unique tongue print? In fact it could be used to identify you in the way that finger prints are. The surface of your tongue has a unique pattern of bumps, ridges and grooves, and no two tongue prints are the same.

15. Did you know that the lining of your intestine completely replaces itself every few days?

If this mucous lining was to fail, your stomach would digest itself. This is because its cells are continuously exposed to corrosive stomach acid, and dissolving along with your food. Fortunately they are rapidly replaced by newly grown cells.  

16. Did you know that drinking coffee can prevent depression?

A 2011 study found that women who drink four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day have a 20% lower risk of depression than those who don’t. Previous studies have also suggested a link between coffee and depression in men.  

17. Did you know that optimists tend to live longer?

A study published in 2016 followed 70,000 women between 2004 and 2012, whose average age was 70 at the start of the study. It revealed a correlation between an optimistic outlook and decreasing risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and infections. The study controlled for other health factors, socioeconomic status, heredity, diet and lifestyle. The most optimistic 25% had a much lower risk of dying of cancer, heart disease or respiratory disease, including a 39% lower risk of stroke.  

18. Did you know that writing by hand can help your memory?

Students who take notes with a pen and paper tend to retain more of the information for longer and store it more usefully than those that type on a laptop. This is partly because handwriting is slower than typing, so it forces us to process, summarise and write down the key information. But there is another aspect to hand writing, which has been shown to increase creative thinking. The physical activity of forming the shape of words with your hand actually stimulates a part of the brain involved in memory formation.  

19. Did you know that dogs can smell cancer and low blood sugar?

Dogs are actually trained to help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels. Trained dogs can also detect skin cancer by sniffing the skin and prostate cancer by smelling a patient’s urine. Diabetic alert dogs can sense a drop or rise in glucose levels before their diabetic human has even noticed any symptoms. Dogs can sniff out human diseases without any training, too, because they have evolved alongside humans and have a tendency to want to protect their companions. Most dog lovers will tell you that a dog becomes upset when its human is injured or sick.  

20. Did you know that your heart beats about 100,000 times a day?

A normal adult heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute. An athlete may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. Averaging 80 beats per minute, your heart would beat 115200 times in a day, 3.5 million times in a month and 42 million times a year!  

21. Did you know that light exercise, such as walking, can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 25%?

22. People who read books live an average of almost two years longer than those who do not read at all

A 2016 Yale University study found. The long-term study found that people over 50, who read for more than 3.5 hours per week had an average life expectancy 23 months longer than those who didn’t read at all.  

23. Doctors are still more reliable than an app!

Don’t reach for that self-diagnosis app just yet! A study of 23 commonly used symptom-checker apps, in 2016, found that doctors make a correct diagnosis more than twice as often as the apps. (Well, you’d hope so!)  

24. Did you know that the temperature of the room you sleep in affects your metabolism?

The ideal temperature for sleep is 15-20 degrees Celsius, so excessively warming up your bedroom in the winter may mean your metabolism is not operating efficiently. So you may be able to improve you metabolic health by turning down down the heating a few degrees.  

25. Did you know that about 75% of people suffer from haemorrhoids at some point in their lives?

26. An excessively clean environment can cause allergies in children.

A study of more than 11,000 children revealed that an overly hygienic environment increases the likelihood of developing eczema and asthma.  

27. Did you know that a 60-minute nap can improve alertness for up to 10 hours?

Although a shorter nap (15-30 minutes) is better for short-term alertness. Naps over 45 minutes can leave you with that groggy feeling that may last for around half an hour. A shorter nap will leave you refreshed and focused without making you feel groggy or interfering with your nighttime sleep. Even naps as short as 2-5 minutes can be effective in shaking off sleepiness.  

28. Did you know that your kidneys filter the equivalent of your entire blood supply 20-25 times a day?

Together, both kidneys process about 180 litres of fluid a day, and a normal adult has about seven or eight litres of blood.  

29. Did you know that lack of exercise is becoming such a big problem around the world, it is now causing almost as many deaths as smoking?

30. Did you know that eating dark chocolate may help to prevent serious diseases?

The darker the better. Experts say you get the benefits from chocolate with 70% cocoa or more. This is because it is rich in antioxidants such as resveratrol. Because it’s high in flavonols and magnesium, dark chocolate also helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol and improves brain function.  

31. Habitually sitting for more than three hours a day can increase your risk of an early death

According to a US study of nearly 8,000 adults, aged 45 and over. And it doesn’t seem to matter how much you exercise. On average, the study found that sitting for three or more hours a day reduces a person’s life expectancy by about two years. The good news is that you don’t have to quit your office job, you just have to break up your sedentary time, by making sure you get up and move about for about five minutes out of every 30.  

32. Did you know that some people are completely unable to visualise mental images?

When we talk about the mind’s eye, and visually bring to mind an event or a person’s face – this may be something you take for granted, but it’s not something that everyone can do. This condition is called ‘aphantasia’ and affects a small percentage of people all over the world. It’s not actually considered a disability, because people with aphantasia simply have other ways of storing and recalling memories. In fact, humans have many different modes of memory and thought, such as sound, smell, touch, words and numbers. You’ve heard of photographic memory – this is simply a very keen ability to recall memories visually. Researchers found that visual artists tend to have a very vivid mind’s eye and ability to see very detailed mental images, musicians tend to have a keen ability to recall sounds. Most people use a combination, but we may be stronger in one than another. When you try to recall a person’s face or a particular place, most of us can’t see all the details as vividly as though it were right in front of us. People with aphantasia can’t do this at all. But they can still remember details and describe things, they just can’t picture it. In fact many report going through most of their life not even knowing aphantasia was a thing, and assuming that when people talked about ‘picturing’ something they were speaking metaphorically!