If time is tight, what's the one thing that you should be doing to improve your health and wellbeing? Michael Mosley reveals scientifically proven top tips to c... More
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Write It Out
When things go wrong, you might think that focusing on the bad and writing about them would make things worse. But in some cases, the opposite seems to be true.
Michael Mosley investigates a technique called “expressive writing”, a simple tip which can have surprising benefits for your health. The idea is to set aside 15 minutes to write about any worries that keep you up at night, showing many benefits - from improving lung function in people with asthma, to improving scores on exams and cognitive tests.
In this episode, Michael Mosley speaks to the man who kick-started it all, Professor James Pennebaker from the University of Texas, Austin. He tells Michael about his original findings in the 1980s and the astonishing link between expressive writing, reduced doctor’s visits, your immune system and how quickly your body heals wounds…
Try Some Turmeric
Turmeric is a close relative of ginger – it has a similar knobbly root-like stem. The golden-hued powder of turmeric adds colour and flavour to food, but it’s also been linked to some surprising health benefits. As well as helping with wound healing and skin conditions, it’s been linked to better brain health. Michael Mosley speaks to Dr. Benny Antony from the University of Tasmania in Australia who has found that turmeric extract was as effective as ibuprofen to reduce pain levels. Meanwhile, our volunteer Yu She cooks up a storm with chicken korma and turmeric pancakes.
Nibble Some Nuts
Nuts are a rich source of fibre and polyphenols. They are also very high in fats and calories, but studies have shown that eating these bite-sized snacks won’t add to your waistline. These nutrient powerhouses could also help slow-down the ageing process. Research has found that walnut eaters live, on average, over a year longer than those who don’t. What’s more, adding nuts to your diet can help your brain! Michael Mosley is joined by Dr Sze-Yen Tan from Deakin University in Australia who reveals how eating nuts can benefit the brain, and why eating moderate amounts of nuts won’t add to your waistline. A recent study of his found that people who ate nuts performed better in cognitive tests and had improved short-term memory. Meanwhile, our volunteer Emma swaps out her usual snack for a handful of mixed nuts!
Lift Some Weights
Lifting weights is obviously great for your strength, but it can also boost your brain power, improve your immune system, and even reverse signs of cellular ageing.
Michael enlists Jenny, a self-confessed weight-lifting novice, to try strength training at home using milk bottles and a sturdy rucksack. He speaks to Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose at the University of British Columbia, Canada, who has recently found that strength training can lead to better memory. She reveals how activating your muscles can release special chemicals called myokines which, astonishingly, can travel around the body and cross your blood-brain-barrier where they can have beneficial effects on your brain.
Clean Your Teeth
Taking good care of your teeth can prevent tooth decay and boost your oral health - but, surprisingly, the benefits extend well beyond your mouth. Keeping your teeth and gums clean can help your heart and your brain, reducing the risk of diseases from diabetes to dementia. To find out why, Michael Mosley speaks to Dr. Sim Singhrao from the University of Central Lancashire School of Dentistry. She reveals bacteria in your mouth can travel from your gums into your blood causing problems in other organs, including your brain. Meanwhile, our volunteer Lowri has a go at brushing and using interdental brushes every day to see if it’s something she’d like to fit into her lifestyle.