Wellness Myths #1
Intrigued by an article I read on Vice, entitled "The Most Overhyped Wellness Promises, Debunked", I decided to look into some of the listed points in a 'lil more detail. Because, you know, #science.
Here were some of my faves/the health claims that make my eye twitch when I see #influencers post about them on Instagram:
Pink himalyan salt isn't more "nutritious" than regular table salt. Well, it isn't. Whilst it has more trace minerals than regular table salt, there is not enough to significantly have any additional health benefits for your body. It sure is pretty but the colour is mainly due to impurities.
Probiotics probably can't boost your mood, your immune system, or your overall wellness. I'm not going to lie, this one shook me. But then, having a deeper look into it, I saw that the results were murky. I guess the key word here is "probably"... Whilst I don't deny there's a gut brain connection, I don't really know too much about it to comment. As published in Harvard Health Publishing, "Some research has found that probiotics may help boost mood and cognitive function and lower stress and anxiety." Read that? *some* and *may*. John Hopkins Medicine have also published this blog, listing only *possible* health benefits. They also outline that probiotics that are being sold to us lack consistency.
'Natural' sugars are not better for you than regular sugar. Love this article that Vice published. Then, there's this post about Honey vs. Sugar which concludes that too much of either ingredient has detrimental health effects. This post also concludes that there are only marginal health benefits to using coconut sugar to regular sugar. TL;DR? No matter how it's marketed, 'natural' alternatives to sugar still contain... sugar. And thus [fancy], we must be conscious of how much we are consuming. I had a look at Xylitol as well - initial studies look promising but most are small, consideration is mainly within the dental practice to reduce cavities, or mainly conducted in vitro (test tube) or in rats. Either way, I know when I'm not eating the 'real deal' and as part of Intuitive Eating/HAES, I'll let myself eat the damn doughnut.
- You don't need to detox with a juice cleanse. This one I HATE. It's up there with consuming celery juice for me. This study outlines a small study (20 people) who went on a juice diet for 3 days. The outcome being a change in the intestinal microbiota and weight loss [because duh, you're only drinking juice for 3 days]. Even the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health outline there's no real science to back up any sort of detox, much less a juice detox. So basically, whilst detoxes can help you lose weight due to the minimal calories you're intaking, and some foods have detoxifying properties - there is no real evidence to support effectiveness of detoxes. My suggestion? JERF. No, not jerk, JERF - just eat real food. Do it for a week and see how you go. How you feel. If you have more energy.
- Microwaves are not bad for you. I recently saw an #influencer discuss how she was throwing out her microwave due to the negative effects. I'm not afraid to say that I *may* have eye-rolled. I use my microwave every day. Some who are into a more 'natural' way of life may have gasped at that but for me, it's about convenience. So a little research... do microwaves 'kill' nutrition in food? Any food that is cooked will destroy nutrient content. What about radiation? It's BS. There are some dangers though! This is a great study which outlines some limitations of the current studies and the inconclusive results. For me? I'm going to keep using mine, I'll keep my distance when it's on and try to limit what I cook in there.
Did you find these results interesting? Do you agree/disagree? I'd love to know more in the comments.