With new studies and reports being released daily it can be hard to keep track of what’s new in health and wellness. To help you stay on top of your health knowledge we’ve put together 10 health-related facts that just might surprise you.
10. Drink something hot to cool down
Conventional wisdom may tell you that if you are hot, drinking something cold will cool down your body. However, research has shown that on a hot day, drinking a hot beverage may help your body stay cool. The reason being that when you drink a hot drink, your body produces sweat to cool down your body temperature. Initially you may be adding heat by drinking the hot liquid, but the amount of sweat that your body produces to cool down more than makes up for the added heat from the liquid. The increased perspiration is key; when the sweat evaporates from your skin, it is able to cool down your body temperature.
9. Your sweat is mostly made up of water
Speaking of sweat, our sweat is composed mostly of water – about 99 percent! How much we sweat is unique to each individual; factors like gender and/or age can contribute to a person sweating more or less.
8. The strongest muscle in your body is ….
Our muscle strength can be measured in different ways. If you are referring to the muscle that can exert the most force, then your calf muscle, the soleus, would be the winner. However, if you want to find the muscle that can exert the most pressure, then the jaw muscle, or the masseter, would be the strongest. The human jaw can close teeth with a force as great as 200 pounds, or 890 newtons!
7. More than half your bones are located in your hands and feet
We are born with approximately 300 bones and cartilage which eventually fuse together by the time we reach adulthood. The adult human body consists of 206 bones. Of these bones, 106 of them are located in our hands and feet. Bones in the arms are among the most commonly broken bones and account for almost half of all adults’ bone injuries.
6. You can physically see high cholesterol
It is possible to see signs on your body that you may have high cholesterol. Xanthelasmata, or xanthelasma, are cholesterol-filled bumps that form under your skin. It can be an indicator of possible heart disease. The lesions can be found all over the body and tend to appear on the skin of older people with diabetes or other heart ailments.
5. Cholesterol-free can be bad for your cholesterol
Food labels may say that it is cholesterol-free, however, that does not mean that the food is good for your cholesterol levels. Trans fats, which are cholesterol-raising, naturally have no cholesterol but can be detrimental to your cholesterol levels. Trans fats can be found in many fried foods and baked goods. Trans fat, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and saturated fats are not good for your cholesterol levels and should be avoided as much as possible.
4. If you are tired, exercise will help
If you are physically tired, the best thing to do is exercise as it will give you more energy than sitting. Studies have found that the blood and oxygen flow through the body will give you more energy and improve your mood. The increase in endorphin levels can contribute to a feeling of well-being.
3. Cold temperature can be good for your health
If you live in Canada, you know all about cold weather. But did you know that colder temperatures can benefit your health? Colder temperatures may help reduce allergies and inflammation and research has shown that it can help you think more clearly and perform daily tasks better. The cold can also help lower the risk of disease; mosquitoes that carry diseases such as Zika, West Nile virus and malaria are not around during the winter season.
2. Bananas can help improve your mood
A banana has approximately 30% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps the brain produce serotonin, which is considered a mood stabilizer. Serotonin impacts your motor skills and emotions. It is also the chemical that helps you sleep and digest food. Eating a banana can help relieve depression and anxiety by stimulating the serotonin levels in your body.
1. Optimism may help you live longer
Can seeing the glass half full help you live longer? Studies have found that there is a correlation between increasing levels of optimism with decreasing levels of death from cancer, disease, infection and stroke. This is particularly true for cases of cardiovascular disease. Those who had the highest levels of optimism had an almost 40% lower risk of heart disease.
So there it is, 10 interesting facts that you may not have known about your health. Share with us on Twitter @Spectrum_HC about your favourite health facts.