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5 Strangest Health Trends of 2014

The weird, the bad, and the dangerous wellness fads we've seen this year.

Despite science's daily health advances, there’s something we just can’t seem to kick: ridiculous health trends. Common sense dissapears if a celebrity swears by their newest cleanse or sworn-by diet. This is in honor of our silly compulsions and get-skinny-quick desires.

As we near 2015, let’s reminisce on the strangest health fads of 2014. 

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1. Clay Cleanse

Does clay have cleansing abilities that help remove toxins? Yes. But usually clay is used as a face mask to remove skin impurities, or used in a culinary context to eliminate toxicants in food sources, according to research from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This wacky trend was brought to the spotlight by actress Shailene Woodley, who described clay as “one of the best things you can put into your body,” HuffPost Health reported. But other than that hype, there is no substantial evidence that clays remove toxins, or that they should be consumed as a purifying measure. There are far better ways to get minerals, and besides, our liver and kidneys do a pretty good job detoxifying our bodies without mud. Let them do their job.  

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2. Cricket Protein 

Okay, this one may not be damaging to your health, but it’s certainly strange and may take until the end of 2015 to become mainstream. Crickets have their way into plenty of popular foods: protein bars, dried as a snack (similar to dried fruit), flour, chips, and cookies, according to the Huffington Post. Move over chia seeds, these little chirpers may just be the next super food.

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3. The Blood-Type Diet

Researchers from the University of Toronto discovered the theory behind the blood-type diet, which claims an individual’s nutritional needs depends on their blood type, is unfounded and invalid. 

Popularized by the popular book Eat Right For Your Type, the theory maintained that one’s blood type can improve health and lower the risk of chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease. These researchers shut the notion down, saying someone’s ability to respond favorably to a diet depends on his or her ability to stay on the diet, not on their type of blood.

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4. Butter Coffee

Bulletproof Coffee, recently back int he news, is a caffeinated concoction. Not your typical cup of coffee, it's brewed with two-thirds of a stick of grass-fed butter. Let’s be clear; grass-fed butter is still butter, whether it comes from cows, sheep, goats, or yaks, it’s still adding 100 to 200 calories to your coffee. 

The beverage is said to boost energy, shrink your waistline, and promote brain function, but Today's nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom says "any extra energy experienced by drinkers is merely a placebo effect," the Daily Mail reports. 

Butter is high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. But those who follow the Paleo diet will likely be fans of the coffee since it falls within their hat-fat regimen.

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5. Charcoal Cleanse 

Hospitals use a special charcoal cocktail to flush poison and alcohol out of patients' systems. In 2014, normal people decided the black mess at the bottom of their grill would work great as a cleansing agent. 

Activated charcoal is special, The DailyBurn reports, because of its efficacy in large surface areas. Carbon is treated with an oxidizing agent, which turns it to a fine dust with millions of pores and an immediate surface area that reduces the body’s absorption of poison (drugs and alcohol) by 47 percent. Everything—charcoal doesn’t discriminate, it will absorb everything—in your gut will stick to the charcoal and move through your body to be expelled in your next bowel movement. Lovely. 

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