We all know smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating fast food are bad for us. But there's a lot of different factors that can influence your health and wellbeing. We just didn't know about them! Well, lucky for you, we’ve decided to uncover them. Keep reading and see what to avoid to keep living a happy, healthy life.
1. Taking vitamins and supplements
These days, everyone seems to be taking at least one type of vitamin or supplement. It looks like they've become a part of our lifestyle. But, instead of making us healthier, they can actually harm our health. How? By taking the wrong ones or too many of them!
For example, too much iron can cause nausea and vomiting. Have you overdone it with vitamin C tablets? It could be the cause of your nausea, diarrhoea, or stomach cramps. All the hype around vitamin D? Too much can actually make your muscles weak and lead to heart problems.
Studies have shown that interactions between our dietary add-ons can also cause serious problems in certain individuals. Vitamin K is critical for your body’s blood clotting ability. If your doctor prescribes a vitamin K supplement, you should avoid taking high doses of vitamin E, as it can counteract the effects of vitamin K, making your blood thinner and reducing its clotting capacity.
That's why we advise you not to take blind guesses but to check for deficiencies. With our MyLifestyle DNA test, you can see to which levels of vitamin B2, B6, B12, C, D or E your genes are linked to, and get your vitamins in order! If your genes show you're likely to have a specific deficiency, take a blood test and talk with your doctor about supplementing your diet with the appropriate vitamin. However, as always, we suggest adding more whole foods, vegetables and nuts into your diet and, of course – maintaining a healthy lifestyle! By doing that, your need for adding vitamins may fade over time.
2. Detoxing and cleansing
Drinking your detox smoothies every day in good faith of maintaining your health, cutting down on calories, losing weight, and getting rid of all the toxins? Well, we've got some bad news for you.
While so-called ‘detoxes’ and ‘cleanses’ can be beneficial to a certain extent, as these detox diets often include healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables, don’t get fooled into thinking they will be the answer to all your health problems. Studies have found that detox diets may lead to initial weight loss because of reduced calorie intake, but they actually tend to result in weight gain once the person resumes a normal diet.
It’s also important to remember that human bodies have a highly efficient detoxifying system of their own – our liver and kidneys process the toxins in our bodies, excreting them through the urinary and digestive tracts. If the amount of toxins surpasses these organs’ excretion ability, the harmful substances are stored in fat and expelled from the body through sweat.
And while these detox juices may contain plenty of healthy ingredients, beware that you’re not getting too much of a good thing!
Take the turmeric cleanse, for example. While turmeric is great in small doses, larger amounts can cause symptoms such as increased anxiety or difficulty sleeping.
Experts say that the best way to support the organs that detoxify our body is by eating a healthy diet based on our body's needs. The best approach for discovering what those needs are. A DNA test! Your genes have all the details about the diet type made for your body. Is it low-carb? Low-fat? Balanced? The fastest and the healthiest way to a healthy weight is our MyLifestyle DNA test. Learn more about it here.
And a hint: there's no need for any extreme smoothie-only diets!
Besides eating healthy food, to keep your detox system in order, experts advise getting an average of 30 minutes of exercise a day, drinking enough water, and getting plenty of rest at night.
Well, about that…
3. Too much sleep
Sorry to break it to you! But no matter how much you adore sleep, too much of it can be bad for your health. Oversleeping is connected with several medical problems, including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, obesity, and recurrent headaches. Sometimes, sleeping too much can also indicate you have an underlying medical condition you're not aware of, so if you constantly sleep more than eight or nine hours to feel well-rested, make sure to reach out to your doctor! On the other hand, if you're having trouble falling asleep, learn more about what you can do here.
If you sleep more than 9 hours on a daily level, have no underlying medical condition, and feel great after a good night's sleep, it could be because of your genes! Like many other things, sleep duration, to some extent, depends on your DNA. Get our MyLifestyle DNA test and discover your genetic predispositions for your sleep duration, latency, quality, bedtime, and even if you're a morning or an evening type of person!
4. Doggy kisses
We love dogs, and we love their kisses! That's why we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but someone has got to do it. Although sharing love with your pet is a fantastic way to boost your mood, you might want to reconsider.
The reasons behind this logic are simple – your dog has different bacteria in their mouth, and they can cause several diseases and infections in humans. If they lick you, these bacteria can be transferred to you – this is especially problematic for older adults with a weakened immune system and for people with open wounds or facial acne.
For example, Pasteurella bacteria can cause skin, lymph nodes or other serious infections in people. Dogs can also carry Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridia and Campylobacter – microbes normal for the digestive tracts of our pets that can cause severe medical conditions in humans. Pets can even transmit parasites to a human, resulting in intestinal disease, skin problems, blindness, and even brain disorders.
Sorry to rain on your pet-kissing parade, but maybe next time you'll need love and cuddles from your furry friend, aim for hugs – they're a much safer, healthier way to show affection!
We know, we know! We're constantly harassing you with living healthy, eating well, drinking enough water, and exercising. And now we're telling you not to do it?
Exercise is the cornerstone of healthy living, but it seems that sit-ups are not so healthy for your back. Many fitness experts consider them outdated, as they can cause lower back injuries. The US Army excluded sit-ups from its workout routines after one study found that 56 per cent of injuries from its fitness test were related to this exercise!
Guess it's time to replace your sit-ups with another workout. To keep your core strong and your back and spine healthy, try doing planks. We're sure you’ll love them just as much as you loved your sit-ups!
6. Dry cleaning
Wait, what? You probably have at least a few items of clothing that require dry cleaning - your favourite fancy suit is perhaps long overdue for that wash as we speak!
But the process of dry cleaning involves a chemical called perchloroethylene, better known as perc. Long-term exposure to this chemical can cause cancer, while other side effects may include mood swings, vision changes, and dips in memory, attention, or reaction time. However, these concerns mainly apply to dry cleaning workers exposed to perc while loading and unloading clothes from dry-cleaning machines.
7. Poor oral hygiene
Although this could be common sense for some, it's still surprising that many people are unaware of the effects the mouth and gums have on your overall health.
Your oral cavity collects all sorts of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. While some of them belong there, making up the normal flora of your mouth, some are not as welcome! For example, a diet high in sugar creates conditions in which acid-producing bacteria can flourish. This acid dissolves your tooth enamel and causes dental cavities, which can be aggravated with poor oral hygiene.
But not taking proper care of your oral cavity is not just a matter of your mouth – quite the opposite! There is a number of health problems and conditions that originate there but have an overall effect on your health and wellbeing. That's why we cannot overemphasise the importance of maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to bone loss, cancer, blood vessel inflammation, hardened arteries, high blood pressure, blood clots, and fertility problems, to name just a few. But lucky for you, most of these complications can be prevented! The solution is quite simple: proper dental and oral care.
To maintain or create good oral hygiene, prevent diseases, and see if your diet needs any adjustments, it's essential you learn:
• Which microbes are present in your mouth and how they can affect you.
• The amount of microbial DNA in your saliva, called bioburden. A high amount of microbial DNA in your saliva sample shows there are too many microorganisms in your mouth, and it can indicate that your oral hygiene or diet might not be optimal.
• The potential association between bacteria and diseases, information about the disease, physiological changes that might lead to diseases (pathophysiology), causes, treatment, and complications.
You know the old saying – knowledge is power! Along with prevention, it’s one of the most important factors for staying fit and healthy. That's why we'll soon introduce the fastest and the easiest way to learn more about your oral cavity and help you take proper care of your mouth! Make sure to stay tuned, meet your oral microbes and let them help you become a better, healthier you.