You can’t go online, read a magazine or probably even chat with a friend without hearing about all the latest health hacks. What’s a health hack? A hack is something that is a simple tip, short cut or trick to help you get to where you want to be. These “hacks” often come with claims of greater health and beauty. Yet, some of these “hacks” are far from helpful and basically just whacky! Here’s a look at some of the biggest hacks and whether we think they are healthy or whacky.
Hack one: Icing your face. What is it? Just that, using an ice cube or iced roller to ice the face. The TikTok® famous Auntie Amanda ices her face claiming it helps her skin and anxiety. Is this the next greatest health hack? Well, it’s somewhat up in the air. When people try it, it does reduce puffiness and some people really enjoy the sensation and find It relaxing. Yet, when asked about it on Keihls.com, Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sarkar notes, “There are a lot of other things it’s supposed to do that science doesn’t show. These include making pores smaller and causing wrinkles to disappear. Don’t expect skin icing to address every skin concern.” Final Verdict: Individual choice. Coming from a wellness standpoint, if you like it, go for it, just keep the ice moving so you aren’t doing any damage. From a clinical standpoint: it’s whacky.
Hack Two: Internal Shower. You read that right. There’s a trend right now called an “internal shower,” that is supposed to help alleviate constipation and bloating. How do you do it? You take a regular glass of water and add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds, let them sit for 10 minutes, add the juice of ½ a lemon and drink it down. They are saying that within minutes you will have yourself an “internal shower.” IS this just whacky or what? Health.com reached out toReena Chokshi, and an assistant professor of gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine, shared, “chia seeds are a really high source of fiber, when you combine the chia seeds with a large liquid load, like drinking a glass of water, [it can help] propel your stomach to move,” she said. “The combination of this being high in fiber and the liquid load may help.” Verdict: This is a hack! This simple tip seems to be a useful tool, but we would suggest you always consult your own physician to be sure this is safe for you.
Hack Three: Healthy Soda. The internet is saying you can put down the sugary cola and make your own healthier version. All you have to do, is take sparkling water and add in (insert drumroll please) balsamic vinegar. Although this is a viral trend, influencer Janelle Ronher says it is “disgusting.” Is this a hack or whack, verdict: Tasters choice! If you like balsamic vinegar, this might be for you.
Health Hack Four: Salt bathe your fruits and veggies. There are videos and photos flooding the internet that if you put say your strawberries in a salt bath, you will see bugs emerging from your fruit. Is this a health hack? Verdict: Yes! Do you need to soak everything in salt water? No. Should you be washing all your fruits and veggies? YES! They come from the earth, which is filled with bugs, dirt, and sometimes worse. It’s never whacky to clean your produce.
Most of these hacks are all about hooking in the reader/viewer with something they think they didn’t know but sometimes are just common sense. While icing your face may sound like something new, most of us know that cold reduces swelling and while the chia seeds may sound like magic, fiber has always been the key to getting things, “moving.” Some hacks are great ways to learn new tricks and other times they can leave you feeling silly. If the hack has you at all concerned about your safety, do your research first. Otherwise, test them out and decide for yourself! Is this hack healthy or just whacky?
Director of The Wellness Center