Strange but proven health tips

Lesotho Times - - Health -

LON­DON — We all know that you should eat at least five por­tions of fruit and veg a day, ex­er­cise reg­u­larly and cut down on sat­u­rated fat. But in re­cent years sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered a host of new — and rather more sur­pris­ing — health tips and reme­dies.

Here, we re­veal some of the more un­usual ad­vice for your well-be­ing, in­clud­ing the virtues of choco­late milk and why high heels are good for you...

Ditch the whiskers If you’re prone to al­ler­gies, you might want to re­con­sider that mous­tache.

One study sug­gests that men who washed their mous­taches twice a day with liq­uid soap used fewer an­ti­his­tamines and de­con­ges­tants. The rea­son?

Clean­ing got rid of stuck pollen grains.

Dr Rob Hicks, GP and author of Beat Your Al­lergy, says: ‘Like cloth­ing, skin and hair, a mous­tache will trap pollen through­out the day.

‘A man with hay fever might con­sider shav­ing off his mous­tache to see whether it makes a dif­fer­ence.

‘That would prob­a­bly be eas­ier and more ef­fec­tive than re­mem­ber­ing to wash it twice a day.’

Sniff ap­ple to stop a mi­graine

An ap­ple a day keeps the doc­tor away, but it turns out they may have health ben­e­fits be­yond that.

A re­cent study of 50 peo­ple by The Smell & Taste Treat­ment and Re­search Foundation of Chicago found that the odour of green ap­ple helped to re­duce the sever­ity of their mi­graines.

‘This may have some­thing to do with the abil­ity of pleas­ant fra­grances to re­lax us and re­duce ten­sion,’ says Charles Spence, pro­fes­sor of ex­per­i­men­tal psy­chol­ogy at Somerville Col­lege, Ox­ford. ‘ The odour may also help to dis­tract peo­ple from think­ing about the pain of the mi­graine.’

An­other study found that ap­ple aroma could help to re­lieve claus­tro­pho­bia, by mak­ing a room seem big­ger.

Ap­ples, in par­tic­u­lar, are thought to help be­cause peo­ple as­so­ciate them with be­ing out­side.

Wash hands af­ter get­ting cash

Next time you take money out of a hole-in-the-wall, you may want to have a good scrub af­ter­wards.

Clean­li­ness tests have re­vealed that cash ma­chines are as dirty and carry the same germs as pub­lic lava­to­ries.

Ex­perts took swabs from city cen­tre cash­points around England. The swabs showed the ma­chines were heav­ily con­tam­i­nated with bac­te­ria, in­clud­ing those known to cause sick­ness and di­ar­rhoea.

Flush with the lid down

Dr Charles Gerba, a mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist from the Univer­sity of Ari­zona, warns that you should al­ways flush the la­va­tory with the seat lid down.

If you don’t, a pol­luted plume of bac­te­ria and wa­ter vapour erupts out of the loo. The pol­luted wa­ter par­ti­cles float for a few hours around your bath­room be­fore they all land, some on your tooth­brush.

Dr Gerba says: ‘Droplets con­tain- ing bac­te­ria or viruses are ejected from the bowl when flushed and set­tle through­out the bath­room.

‘It doesn’t hap­pen all the time, but E.coli and other fae­cal based bac­te­ria re­ally can make you ill, so un­less you want to brush your teeth with what was in the toi­let, it’s a good idea to close the lid.’

Mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist Dr An­thony Hil­ton, the head of bi­ol­ogy and bio­med­i­cal sci­ence at As­ton Univer­sity in Birm­ing­ham, says: ‘I’ve been in­volved with stud­ies where we’ve put ul­tra-vi­o­let dye down the toi­let.

‘Af­ter flush­ing, it’s pos­si­ble to de­tect it all over the bath­room. And if you do keep the lid up, com­mon sense would sug­gest it’s prob­a­bly not the best idea to keep tooth­brushes next to the toi­let.’

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