For some habits that we know and enjoy, we are told they’re downright not good for us but what if we tell you that actually they’re not all as bad as you would think.
It seems that the only real thing that’s bad about them is the press they receive. And there’s plenty of scientific studies and expert opinions to prove this.
Flavour Boss (1) provides a tour through the much-maligned habits that may be doing us a lot more good than once thought. So, sharpen your pencil because it’s time to strike a few things off your bucket list of bad habits you need to change:
1. Eating chocolate
Far from being the destroyer of diets, it appears chocolate may be the helper of health.
Recent studies have found that it can reduce the risk of strokes, (2) help your heart stay healthy (3) and lessen the risk of diabetes. (4)
What’s more, scientists have also found that chocolate can improve your mathematical ability, (5) strengthen your brain (6) and that it’s good for your skin. (7)
We assume you don’t need a study to tell you it tastes damn fine too!
That cup of coffee may not represent your slavish addiction to caffeine, but be part of a highly commendable preventative health routine.
Studies (8) have shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to have type-2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia than non-coffee drinkers.
Recent research from the journal, Cancer Research (9) has even found that those who drink coffee have a significantly lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.
3. Shower dodging
Far from being symptomatic of poor hygiene standards, shower dodging is, according to leading dermatologists, an essential part of any beauty routine.
Washing your hair all the time does far more harm than good. Skipping a day or two will actually help your hair remain healthy. Dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani explains that hair is a fibre, and it will lose its shape and strength if it’s washed every day.
Rather than a daily routine we should follow what our scalp is telling us. If you have a dry scalp, wash your hair just twice a week. However, if it’s oily, wash every other day.
At best, those who fidget are seen as lacking focus. But now, those who drum endlessly on the table can at last turn the tables on their critics.
The Mayo Clinic (11) found that fidgeting is a great way to lose weight, with around 350 calories being burned each day. That’s the equivalent of losing 30 to 40 pounds in a year.
Researchers into children with ADHD discovered that fidgeting aids concentration, (12) rather than being a symptom of its loss.
5. Chewing gum
Is it really rude to chew? Is it the sign of a slacker? Or is it a vital way to improve productivity? The scientific argument sides with the latter.
Study (13) after study (14) has revealed that chewing gum helps you feel more alert — and some research suggests that those who chew gum will perform better in intelligence tests than those who don’t.
It’s just the modern equivalent of smoking, isn’t it? Well, not according to the NHS:
“Many thousands of smokers are quitting with e-cigarettes. They carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes. Public Health England’s 2015 independent evidence review found that vaping is around 95% less harmful than smoking.”
Not only that, other perks include the choice of seriously lip-smacking flavours (15) to bring the vaping experience to another level.
So, it seems that some of us may have been unfairly judging other people’s habits and that not everything we think is bad can be too bad for us.