We’ve searched through our archives and found 15 of the best health hacks for all of the ailments and concerns that face us daily:
1. Anti-age your brain
A 2012 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that eating walnuts as part of a Mediterranean diet was associated with better memory and brain function.
2. Soothe a cold
Try a spicy hot drink. Herbalist Meral Prince suggests trying this herbal cuppa: combine 1tsp dried ginger root with three cloves, ½tsp each of ginseng powder and aniseed, and a cup of water. Simmer, strain, and then drink to soothe your cold and boost your energy.
3. Reduce your risk of a stroke
Women who walk about 7 km/h (not t hat fast, but a bit more than a gentle stroll) have a lower risk of stroke than slower walkers, says research from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
4. Get a flatter tummy
You can reduce bloating by cutting out “fermentable” fruit and veggies. Mediterranean veg such as aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes and peppers are fine – but hold the onions and garlic.
Spinach, carrots and potatoes are all great, but steer clear of broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and leeks.
5. Beat headaches
Sandalwood, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender and a wide assortment of other natural essential oils can be used to reduce, if not completely eliminate, headache pain. At home, use them in an oil burner and lie down while you relax into the aroma.
6. Stop yourself from worrying
Set a benchmark for the things you worry about. Are they life-threatening to you or those you love? Will they leave you emotionally or financially abandoned? If not, they should be scaled into categories ranging from “minor concern” to “major concern”.
7. Keep your joints young
One way to do this is to take a Devil’s Claw supplement. In a study, people with osteoarthritis of the knee, hip or lower back reported less pain after 8 weeks of devil’s claw, an indigenous South African plant. Consult your doctor if you take blood-thinning or diabetes medication.
8. Boost your immune system
Moderate exercise, such as walking, helps reduce the risk of developing colds, but marathon runners are more at risk of bugs following the event, says Professor Mike Gleeson at Loughborough University.
9. Lose weight while you sleep
A study from the University of Oxford showed that women who slept in the darkest rooms were 21% less likely to be obese than women who slept in lighter rooms. This is because light can cut down your body’s production of melatonin which interferes with sleep quality.
10. Reduce inflammation
The key to reducing inflammation is keeping your gut bacteria healthy. Provide “food” for your gut bacteria in the form of soluble fibre, which includes fruit and veg, particularly bananas, asparagus and apples.
11. Quickly boost your energy at work
The scent of peppermint is known to help decrease fatigue. Studies have found that chewing gum boost alertness and concentration.
Research from the University of Northumbria in the UK found that in a test involving word recall, peppermint-gum chewers’ scores were up to 36% higher than those of non-chewers.
12. Stop yourself from overeating
You make less healthy food choices when you’re hungry. In fact, hungry shoppers buy 23% more junk food as they’re more likely to choose high-calorie products.
Because you’re likely to be hungrier between 4pm and 7pm, avoid shopping during this period. If it’s your only choice, go with a shopping list and stick to it.
13. How to de-stress
When the pressure is on, take a deep breath and stand back from the situation. Yes, it’s bad right now, but ask yourself, “Will this matter in six months? Or five years?” The answer is very rarely “Yes”.
14. Improve your gut health
If you want a flat tum and healthy digestive system, try to eliminate sugar and drink plenty of water to keep food moving. Too much sugar promotes bad bacteria and inflammation
15. Cope at work after a bad night’s sleep
Alternate between physical and mental activities at work – answer some e-mails, then go fetch a parcel at reception perhaps. It’s all about keeping busy, and not letting boredom get the best of you.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
Digital Editor at woman&home magazine, F1 Fan, Chocoholic.