If you are reading this, chances are you are pretty invested in remaining healthy. You are minding your diet, trying to be more active, and are keeping up with your routine screenings. That popular advice can go a long way. But professionals have recently found that some common routines—habits that we do every day or that we don’t even think about—could seriously harm the body. They deserve attention as well. Keep reading to find out more.
1 — You are Spending Too Much of your Time on Social Media
According to a recent study released in the Jan. issue of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, individuals who use social media too much have higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a bio marker of chronic inflammation that is able to predict a serious illness such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Researchers signed up 251 college students and kept track of their blood levels of CRP as well as their social media usage.
“We were able to see a correlation between the amount of time on social media and these physical health indicators,” says lead study author David Lee. “The more time participants spent on social media, the more somatic the symptoms were that they experienced and visits to the physician they reported. They also saw a higher level of chronic inflammation.”
2 — You are Ruining Your Brain By Skipping This Nutrient
According to a recent study released in Nutritional Neuroscience, eating more fiber might reduce your chances of dementia. Researchers kept track of the dietary habits of 3,500 Japanese adults for over 30 years; they discovered that the participants who ate diets higher in fiber had a reduced risk of developing dementia. Soluble fiber—the kind that is found in foods like beans, oats, citrus fruits and apples—seemed to be very beneficial.
“The mechanisms that are currently unknown but may involve the interactions that tend to take place between the brain and the gut,” says Kazumasa Yamagishi. “One possibility is that the soluble fiber helps regulate the composition of the body’s gut bacteria. This composition might affect neuroinflammation, which plays a certain role in the onset of dementia. It is also possible that dietary fiber might reduce other risk factors for developing dementia, such as blood pressure, body weight, glucose levels and lipids.”
3 — You are Worrying Too Much
Last month, a study released from the American Heart Association discovered that males who worry more seemed to have an increased risk for developing cardiometabolic disorders such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke as they get older. That is because worrying increases stress, and stress can take a toll on your vital organs. A new Yale University study discovered that chronic stress could actually raise your rate of biological aging. It might also slow your metabolism, increasing your chance of obesity-related disorders that will tax the heart.