Health is the most important thing that people have, this is why many of us try to learn new things every day that will help us stay healthy for as long as possible. Today, it seems that scientists know everything about the human body, but this is not really true. For example, recently, doctors found out that the absence of breakfast doesn’t have any impact on health, and shivering when you are cold helps you to lose weight.

Bright Side has analyzed some medical discoveries from recent years and collected 11 facts that might make you change your perception of health and even of your lifestyle.

Women need more sleep than men.

Researchers from Duke University have discovered that, unlike men, women require more sleep. As it turns out, if women don’t have enough sleep, their physical and mental abilities take a bigger toll than men’s. Because of the lack of sleep, women tend to get into depressive states more often and in the morning they tend to be more irritated, according to sleep expert Michael Breus.

People that look younger than they are, live longer.

Scientists from Denmark studied 387 pairs of twins in their 70s, 80s, and 90s and found that just looking at someone’s face is enough to tell if a person will live to an old age or not. In other words, if a person looks younger than their actual age, they will live longer than a person who looks older than their actual age. And scientists have proven that it’s programmed in at the DNA level. Key pieces of DNA called telomeres, which indicate the ability of cells to replicate, are also linked to how young a person looks. So people who look younger, have shorter telomeres.

The absence of breakfast doesn’t lead to health issues.

In 1944, a company that produces breakfast foods called, General Foods, started an aggressive PR-campaign. In order to increase the sales of their cereals, stores gave clients leaflets telling them how important breakfast is and on the radio and you could hear words like, “Nutritionists claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” So, cereal is still the most popular breakfast food and different experts continue to say that everyone should have breakfast. But medical research has shown that skipping breakfast doesn’t lead to health issues and has no effect on losing or gaining weight. This message is actually just a myth.

Communicating with friends is beneficial for men’s health.

Robin Dunbar, a psychologist and the director of Oxford University’s Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience research group, claims that every man should meet with 4-5 friends at least twice a week. They can spend this time any way they want — from playing sports to going to bars. Dunbar claims that men who have loyal friends are depressed less often and have a stronger immune system.

Shivering when you are cold helps you to lose weight.

Scientists from Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney found out that 10 minutes of shivering in the cold, burns more fat than a one hour workout. These are new findings built on previous research into so-called brown fat — a type of fat tissue that essentially burns energy, instead of storing it.

Cycling makes your immune system younger.

Scientists at the University of Birmingham studied cyclists from ages 55 to 79, that ride a bike several hours every day. These researchers found that cycling in older age prevents muscle mass and power from declining. And the fat and cholesterol levels stayed stable. But the most amazing fact is that cyclist’s bodies produce immune T-cells in comparable numbers to 20-year-olds. It’s amazing because the production of T-cells starts to decrease around the age of 20. This proves that riding a bicycle actually makes the immune system younger.

Being restless helps you to lose weight.

Research has shown that many of the people who are not susceptible to being overweight, consistently do “extra” movements over the course of their daily life, like tapping their fingers, walking in circles while talking, and so on. As it turns out, even this seemingly minor physical activity helps the body burn up to 350 extra calories per day. This means you can lose up to 30 lbs per year just by tapping your fingers.

Nail biting in childhood is good for our health.

Canadian scientists studied the habits of 1,000 people from ages 5 to 9, and several years later they ran allergy tests. It turns out that children who bite their nails rarely develop asthma, are less susceptible to having allergic reactions, and have stronger immune systems. According to researchers, the germs that get inside the body make the immune system stronger and more powerful.

Blood pressure can increase when there is a doctor around.

Up to 20 % of the entire world’s population have the so-called “white coat syndrome.” These people have a subconscious fear of doctors and when they are in a medical facility, their blood pressure goes up. More than that, these people might seem calm and not even realize that they are scared. Women have this syndrome more often especially during the first weeks of their pregnancy.

Fist bumps are way safer than handshakes.

Researchers from Aberystwyth University in Great Britain concluded that a handshake passes 40% more germs than a fist bump. Even a high 5 is safer than a handshake. But scientists still recommend using a fist bump.

Pizza is a healthier breakfast than cereal.

Many people think that this statement is illogical, but, in reality, eating pizza for breakfast is healthier than eating cereal. Famous American nutritionist Chelsey Amer claims that pizza contains fats, carbohydrates, and protein that will help you feel full for a longer time, than if you eat cereal with milk. And of course, cereals also contain carbs and sugar.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should only eat pizza for breakfast, but eating cereal exclusively is also not a good idea.

Bonus: A sign that your body needs more water

As it turns out, if you are not hydrated enough, your body will absorb water from all the sources it possibly can, including the colon. So, if you don’t drink enough water, it’s perfectly normal to be constipated. However, if you drink about 7 glasses of water every day and you still have constipation, you should consult a specialist.

What do you eat for breakfast and do you skip it often?

Illustrated by Marat Nugumanov for Bright Side