Love It or Leave It: Health Fads Exposed

As girls, we’re always looking for the newest way to be healthy and stay beautiful. However, the quest for well-being often gives rise to all sorts of quirky health tricks and trends that may not do anything good for your body! We take a look at three of the hottest trends.

Trend: Oil Pulling
Despite its pretty un-sexy name, you may have heard of oil pulling on Pinterest; it’s a favorite among the DIY-type health and beauty pinners. Oil pulling is swishing about a tablespoon of either sunflower or sesame oil in your mouth before spitting it out. The idea is that the oil helps clear the body of accumulated toxins, and fans of oil pulling say it helps with everything from mouth sores to acne to whiter teeth to headaches.

THE VERDICT: Oil pulling works—but only for mouth sores, gingivitis and lesions. A January 2011 study from the Meenakshi Ammal Dental College tested oil pulling on patients with these wounds and found a significant decrease in symptoms. However, doctors say there’s no evidence to support the idea that oil pulling helps with acne, headaches or other body ailments. Sorry girls—I’d stick to the Proactiv and leave the oil for cooking.

Trend: Juice Cleanses
This might be the trendiest health myth on the list. A-listers like Beyonce and Ashton Kutcher have jumped on the juice cleanse bandwagon; someone on a juice cleanse consumes only special formulaic juices for a given period of time, and the regimen is supposed to help you lose weight and cleanse the body of toxins. Juices are not the Minute Maid bottles found on grocery stores but rather formulas only available from natural health companies—and often at hefty prices.

THE VERDICT: I would not recommend this. “We don't endorse this at all,” Mayo Clinic physician Michael Picco told "AC360" in 2011. “Sometimes those cleanses could actually be quite harmful.” The colon naturally detoxes your body; denying regular food to your body denies it the nutrients and minerals it needs to function. “There is really no good evidence based upon any good research that this stuff makes any difference,” Picco said. I wouldn’t spend the money.

Trend: Detox Baths
A good bath can often soak away all the day’s problems, but can certain baths rid your body of toxins? The internet is full of DIY-health enthusiasts’ recipes for the perfect combination of oils and chemicals to rid your body of toxins via the skin.

THE VERDICT: It works—but just with plain, old water. Harsh chemicals can be harmful in bathwater if inhaled and soaked into skin. Instead, opt for a long warm regular bath. The benefits may be more mental than physical; long baths help to lessen stress. But, some researchers also say that the baths open the pores and relieve sore joints or muscles. As far as toxins leaving your body through your pores, there is no clear answer; some advocate it while others say that toxins are dealt with in the internal organs, not the external one. I’m not sure myself, but if you need me, I’ll be thinking about it in a nice, warm bath.

By: Hannah Boxerman | Image: Source


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