Alexa. How can I get rid of a rash on my arm?
In a world where information is easily accessible online, it can be hard to know what's real and what's not. The same goes for advice about your health.
From dehydration to dark chocolate, we put together a list of unexpected but important health facts.
Did you know?
Health Fact #1: You can become addicted to sugar
When you think of addiction, what comes to mind? Alcohol? Drugs? Gambling? What about sugar?
That's right; there is such a thing as having a sugar addiction! And if you don't address it, you put yourself at risk for several severe health conditions, like obesity, digestive issues, heart disease, cancer, and hypertension.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars to no more than 100 calories for women and children and 150 calories for men per day. (about six teaspoons for women and children and nine teaspoons for men)
It's essential to remember sugar isn't always printed right on the nutrition label. Other types of added sugar to look for and limit are:
Brown rice syrup
High-fructose corn syrup
Evaporated cane juice
Don't really have a sweet tooth? You still need to be careful. Our bodies break down complex carbs, like pasta, into simple sugars.
Health Fact #2: Snoring can cause more issues than interrupted sleep
Snoring can be a nightmare for you and your partner. In fact, one study found that 63% of people reported relationship problems when one partner suffered from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder where your breathing stops and restarts many times during sleep, causing you to snore or gasp.
Occasional snoring due to allergies or a cold isn't usually cause for concern. But frequent, long-term snoring increases the risk of:
Lowered blood oxygen levels
If your partner has told you that you snore at night, you should see your doctor right away. They will most likely order a sleep study!
Health Fact #3: Moving your body boosts your immune system
We all know that working out helps you lose weight and build muscle. But the benefits of being physically active go beyond that.
Studies show that regular exercise can improve your immune system. Researchers believe that moving your body can:
Help get rid of bacteria in your lungs and airways, reducing the chance of contracting illnesses like the flu.
Cause a temporary rise in your body temperature during and right after exercise that may prevent bacteria from growing.
Restrict the release of stress hormones that can increase your chance of a medical condition
The best part is that you don't have to run a marathon every day or work out for hours to help your immune system. Research shows that just 20 minutes of moderate activity consistently can boost your immune system!
Health Fact #4: Bananas can help with (sodium-induced)bloating
When you think of bloating, you may think of gas. However, that tight, painful, full feeling in your stomach can also result from too much sodium retaining water in your body.
How do bananas fit in? Bananas are full of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining sodium-potassium balance.
So if you ate a whole lot of processed or salty food yesterday, try adding a banana to your breakfast!
Health Fact #5: Your weight can fluctuate between 2-5 pounds in a day
Speaking of bloating. A shift in your daily weight of 2 to 5 pounds is normal! That's because the fluid in our bodies is constantly moving around.
How much depends on a few factors for the day, such as:
What you've eaten (a lot of salt = retaining more water = bloating)
If you are on your period
Other medical issues
There's no need to panic if you gain a few pounds in one day. It's most likely water weight, and as quickly as you put it on, you can lose it.
Health Fact #6: Chocolate can lower your blood pressure
Now before you go load up on Snickers bars, hear us out. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that produce nitric oxide, which can help your blood vessels relax and widen while increasing blood flow (aka lowering your blood pressure).
However, you should always be mindful of how much you consume to keep track of the number of fats, sugars, and calories. If you have a medical condition like diabetes, always consult your doctor before having any sweets.
Health Fact #7: Drinking water can help you lose weight
It's also an excellent way to help lose weight! Water is naturally calorie-free. Therefore the more water you drink, the less likely you will reach for sugar-filled beverages.
Some research has shown that drinking water before your meal can suppress your appetite and make you feel full without adding calories. As a result, you can potentially eat less.
Drinking water can also make your workouts much more effective. How? Proper hydration decreases fatigue, giving you the energy to work out longer and burn more calories. In addition, your muscle cells build muscle more quickly.
Workout tip: Hydrate before and during your workout, not just when you start to feel thirsty, to prevent exercise-related heat exhaustion.
There is a considerable amount of health-related information available, so it can be hard to navigate what's real. Always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet, medication, and workout routines.
At CareCard, our mission is to help make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. Learn how we can help make your medication payments more manageable.