You are here

Health Features

Viva! Health unravels the most recent scientific research and makes it easy to understand. Here we update you on the latest findings...

If pregnant crickets are exposed to a predatory wolf spider, their babies will hatch, exhibiting increased antipredator behavior and, as a consequence, improved survival from wolf spider attack. The mother cricket appears to be able to forewarn her babies about the threat when they are still inside her, so they would be pre-adapted to their external environment. This even happens in plants. If you grow two genetically identical plants – one in the sun, one in the shade – the sun-grown plant will produce seeds that grow better in the sun, and the shaded plant will produce seeds that grow better in the shade – even though they’re genetically identical. What’s happening is called epigenetics, external factors changing gene expression.
Getting enough sleep is vital for our overall health. It can reduce the risk of many common diseases, keep the brain and digestive system healthy and boost the immune system. However, around a third of us are falling short – so what can you do to get a better night’s sleep? Can any foods offer help? 
Jamie Oliver has forced Turkey Twizzlers off the school menu – a junk food made up of fat, salt, fillers and about 34 per cent turkey slurry. If you’re contemplating tucking into a Christmas turkey, Amanda Woodvine (BSc Nutrition) asks a disturbing question – is it just another junk food?
White meat is the healthy choice, we’re told. No it isn’t, says senior nutritionist Amanda Woodvine, as she explodes the chicken myth.