Doctors 'live years longer' and they reveal secrets from naps to ditching soap

Fabulous has spoken to some medical experts willing to share tricks of the trade. From power naps to ditching soap and antibacterial gel, here they reveal their top health tips for 2019…

Shampoo your eyes

AROUND a third of us suffer from dry eyes – and it is becoming more common due to computer and mobile phone use. But drops are not the best solution, according to surgeon Professor Dan Reinstein, of the London Vision Clinic.

He says: “People often treat it with artificial tears but this just dilutes the toxic tears instead of rectifying the issue itself.

“I recommend my patients shampoo their eyes. Use baby shampoo, because it doesn’t sting.

“When you are washing your hair in the shower, simply close your eyes and use your fingers to rub the eyelashes. Make it part of your daily routine to keep the eyes healthy.”

Go full fat

IF you have swapped full-fat products for low-fat ones and wonder why you are not losing weigh, GP Dr Louise Newson may have the answer.

She says: “Choose full-fat options instead. The low-fat options are often full of added sugar to try and make them taste better.

“And full-fat milk only contains four per cent fat, but it has far more Vitamin D, A, E and K, which we need to keep us healthy.”

Foods like full-fat Greek yoghurt or avocados also contain lots of healthy saturated fats that keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Dr Louise adds: “This might stop you reaching for the biscuits.”

Use a straw

DRINKING through a straw can help protect your teeth from harmful sugars and acids, according to dentist Dr Richard Marques, of Wimpole Street Dental in central London.

“But you should position the straw behind your teeth and tongue for this to be most effective,” he says.

“This way the drink has a better chance of heading straight down your throat and bypassing as many teeth as possible.”

Ditch the soap

IT is possible to be too clean, according to Dr Philippa Kaye, a GP with a special interest in women and children’s health.

“We are all lathering ourselves in antibacterial gel and cleaning our hands with wipes these days,” she says.

“But if we are not exposed to enough bacteria early in life then our immune systems struggle to recognises what is safe and what is harmful.

“And you should never use soap down below. Your vagina is self-cleaning. Using soaps, gels or douches can disrupt the natural healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina and can lead to conditions such as thrush. Instead, wash with water or emollients such as aqueous cream.”

Carry nuts

NUTS should be as much a part of your handbag armoury as lippy and your purse, according to Dr Sara Kayat, the resident GP on ITV’s This Morning.

She explains: “They are the perfect alternative to sugary, or high saturated fat snacks when you’re feeling peckish.

“They are high in protein and fibre and will stave off any cravings keeping you feeling fuller for longer, and their essential fatty acids make them a positively healthy choice.

“Just make sure you go for the unsalted nuts to keep your daily salt intake below the daily recommended amount of 6g.”

Take power naps

TAKING a chunk out of your lunch hour for a quick snooze is a huge help for the brain, says Dr Emer MacSweeney, consultant neuroradiologist and CEO of cognitive care group Re:Cognition Health.

She says: “Napping is very beneficial to keeping the brain healthy and improving cognitive performance. But timing is key. A quick 20-minute nap after lunch will boost alertness.

“This duration will keep you in the lightest stage of sleep so you won’t have groggy after-effects. A great tip is to drink a coffee before napping and the effects of the caffeine will kick in just as you are waking up. If you’re new to napping, just closing your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes will reap the same benefits.”

Brush your teeth later

IT’S the first thing we all do after wolfing down our cereal in the morning.

But we should wait an hour before brushing our teeth, says dentist Dr Ben Atkins, trustee of the Oral Health Foundation.

“It takes about 40 minutes for the mouth to neutralise the acid caused by eating or drinking anything sugary, such as cereals or juice,” he explains.

“Eating or drinking weakens the enamel on the teeth, meaning if you brush too soon it causes tiny particles of the enamel to be washed away.

“You can speed up the time it takes for saliva to neutralise these plaque acids and lessen the damage they cause by chewing sugar-free gum containing xylitol or rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse.”

Smell your breath

BAD breath can be a warning sign for many conditions, including diabetes, cancer and stress.

Dentist Dr Harold Katz, founder of mouth care products firm The Breath Company, says: “Bad breath – or halitosis – is a common problem across the globe and an estimated 50 per cent of people suffer from it during their lifetime.

“Try the cotton test. Wipe the top surface of your tongue with cotton gauze and smell it – most people can’t smell their own breath and this is the most accurate way of checking if it smells bad. You can’t check your breath by blowing into your hand.

“If you have concerns, raise it with your dentist or doctor, so they can recommend treatment.”

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