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Fri, 03/14/2014

Health Myths - Part 1

Traditional home remedies are amongst the most effective health tips. Most of them help against colds, running noses, tensions or minor injuries. However, there are always health tips that just belong into the realm of legends. Almost all tips that have to do with enjoyment are part of this.

Up front is the popular digestif.

The drink is basically just an excuse to have even more alcohol. In fact, alcohol with a meal is counterproductive. It distracts the liver from digesting the food. A better digestive is a walk or a coffee – best without sugar.

Another myth: Coffee depletes the body of water, which is why you always get a glass of water with your espresso. Coffee is diuretic, which basically is not bad, but it just means that the water you discharge, is the water you have taken in with the coffee.

Speaking of water. It is said one should drink two liters a day. Some even say three liters. But such a rule does not make sense since the water requirement depends on several things: body weight, daily activity, how warm it is and how much water you take in with other foods. Who has a normal sense of thirst, can confidently follow it. Only those who have lost it, must be careful to drink enough. On the other hand, drinking a little bit more water subdues the feeling of hunger, in particular the urge for sweets.

As a child, it was forbidden to eat stone fruit like cherries and then to drink water, because that would cause stomach ache. This was true back then. But if the water quality is very good, there is no danger. The abdominal pain is caused by bacteria in water with lesser quality, which bring the fruit to ferment in the stomach.

Also, salt is not unhealthy – as long as you are not salt-sensitive. Then too much salt will increase your blood pressure.

To stem diarrhea Cola and pretzel sticks are often recommended. This is also counterproductive, as the sugar in the cola withdraws water and potassium from the body. Better are lightly sweetened teas. And instead of salt sticks zwieback is the better choice.

Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables do not protect against cancer. At least not per se. Generally, it is always better to eat more fruits and vegetables than meat for ones overall health. Also, fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Dark chocolate has less calories. Unfortunately, this is not true neither. Although dark chocolate does not contain lactose unlike milk chocolate it still has as many calories.

A leap in cold water can make your heart stop. For healthy individuals, this risk does not exist. However, anyone who suffers from vascular or heart disease should better cool down slowly before entering cold water because sudden temperature changes are highly stressful for heart and circulation.

To be continued.