by Alikay Wood
With so many conflicting health trends in existence, it’s easy to feel confused. The good news is that new studies are showing that many widely held beliefs about health are more myth than substance. Here are six things you might think are bad for you, but can have surprising health benefits.
Low carbohydrate diets have been trendy for years, but a recent study published in The Lancet Public Health journal found that participants who ate extremely low amounts of carbohydrates died sooner than those who ate moderate amounts. The team found that incorporating a moderate amount of carbohydrates into your diet could extend your lifespan by four years.
Going on vacation can feel like a needless luxury, but new research shows that it could actually be essential for your long-term health. The Helsinki Businessmen Study, one of the longest ongoing research projects in history, found that participants who did not take vacations died sooner than those who took time off from work.
Coffee has often gotten a bad health rap, but recently scientists discovered it can lower risk of early death by up to 12 percent. The study, published in JAMA, reports that this health benefit applied to those who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day, even if it was decaffeinated.
We all know we should exercise, but getting in an hour of cardiovascular activity a day can be intimidating. The good news is that a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bursts of low impact activity were just as effective as long stretches of intense exercise. Researchers found that just 30 minutes of light activity a day could lower mortality rates by 33 percent.
A study published in PLOS in 2017 showed that eating hot red chili peppers could reduce mortality by 12 percent. Researchers aren’t totally sure why this is the case, but believe it may be linked to spicy foods being natural appetite suppressants.
For years, eight hours of sleep has been touted as the magic amount of time for your health, but scientists are discovering that getting 6-7 hours of sleep can prolong your life. Research from the University of Warwick found that those who slept eight or more hours were 18 percent more likely to experience an early death.
Click on a picture to enjoy more inspiring photos and stories.
Explore the collection of slideshows and discover inspirational quotes, beautiful photos, and powerful stories of hope.