Five things Christmas special


Each week a member of the team shares 5 new things they have found interesting. In this edition we spread a bit of Christmas cheer with our 5 things special. Enjoy!


1. Prescription snowfall for sick children

If you're looking for a heart-warming Christmas story, how about this children's hospital in Atlanta, USA that surprised sick children with a snowfall. Despite the forecast of balmy temperatures, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta was determined to give sick children a winter wonderland. Staff at the hospital teamed up with a special effects company that works with Disney, to plan the secret operation, which involved hidden snow machines blasted faux icicles from above onto the sick children. The hospital said "It's such a special time of year and kids in the hospital don't get to celebrate." Read the full story here.


2. Mistletoe as cancer therapy? Please don't, say the BMJ

Most people in the UK would be surprised to learn of a use for mistletoe unrelated to Christmas. Some patients with cancer have been injecting themselves with extract of mistletoe in the hope of improving their condition. This intuition is based on the fact that, like cancer, mistletoe is a parasitic growth that eventually kills its host. However following extensive tests in this field, trials failed to show benefit and some reports show considerable potential ham. In conclusion the BMJ only recommend mistletoe as a Christmas decoration and for kissing under but not as an anticancer drug. Read the full story here.


3. Don't feel too bad about Christmas dinner, here are some health benefits!

Besides providing you with quality family time and good cheer, Christmas dinner can also offer up lots of surprisingly healthy dishes. Here are 11 healthy dishes that you can dig into this Christmas; you won't be surprised to hear that there are only a few desserts and they are only healthy if you don't overdo it… which most of us do! 


4.  Scientists develop the formula for the perfect Christmas dinner 

Scientists have come up with the formula for the perfect Christmas dinner. They've worked out the exact portion sizes to leave you satisfied rather than stuffed. No matter how much we like what we're eating, it quickly stops tasting fabulous if we eat too much of the same thing. So a range of different ingredients limit what experts call Sensory Specific Satiety, or SSS. Read more about it here


5. Ok enough about Christmas dinner - here's how to work it off 

However if you have been over-indulging a little during the festive season, here are some winter exercise tips from the Mayo Clinic no less.