Exercise. The bodily aches and pains stopped after I started going to the gym and resume if I slack off.
Eliminating transfats. I can tell when I’ve been eating a lot of transfats– a week of restaurant food and I feel worse. I think the low-fat fad, the raw vegan fad both are popular because they make people feel better due to the absence of transfats, the fat & cooking issues are red herrings.
High protein meals. The science doesn’t support the popular idea that you will die on a low protein diet or get sick on an animal protein free diet. That said, I’m noticeably more satiated after a meal of seitan (concentrated wheat protein) than other meals of a similar volume and quantity of calories.
Sugar. Too much sugar and I can tell–I’ll feel noticeably worse. Research on the web says I can eat 40grams of sugar a day before I’ll start running the risk of breaking my pancreas. One can of cola means the rest of my food for the day would have to be sugar free.
Caffeine. NPR said more than a cup before noon and you’ll disrupt the sleep. They’re right.
Flossing. Flossing works. I just wish it wasn’t so unpleasant to do in the first place.
What wasn’t noticeable
I’m not saying that the following are ineffective or unhealthy, I’m saying they are not noticeable. While vaccines are not noticeable, it would be foolhardy to not get vaccinated.
Vegetarianism. No noticeable effect. It’s good for the environment, cheaper, probably reduces risk of degenerative diseases in the long run, or at the very least, it means you will be more likely to die of one disease rather than another. No one lives forever, after all.
Vitamins. No noticeable effect. I take them anyhow, albeit irregularly.
Brushing. The benefits of brushing are probably visible to dentists, but are invisible to me, except for about 10 minutes after brushing.
I guess the pattern is somewhat clear. Preventative health care has no immediate noticeable benefits. One engages in preventative health care as a intellectual activity of weighing risks and benefits too far in the future for one’s dinosaur brain to react to.
Evolutionary biologist say that high IQ humans are no more reproductively successful than low IQ humans, so if there is to be any future evolution towards more intelligent humans, it will be on account of preventive health care.