Old Wives’ Tales…True or False?

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Old wives’ tales have been passed down for generations. They’ve become so ingrained in our heads that we might even reference them when it comes to common ailments in our health. Is it really going to take seven years for us to digest the gum we swallowed when we were ten years old? Do carrots actually improve our vision? These are all things we’ve heard, but is there actually some truth behind them? 

To figure out if old wives’ tales like these ones are true or not, keep reading!

Carrots can improve your eyesight

False…but a little bit true?

We’ve all heard our mothers tell us to eat carrots so we have good eyesight. Carrots do contain beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A. Getting enough vitamin A in our diets is important to our overall eye health, but it will not improve vision or reduce the chances of you having to get glasses. It can prevent eye conditions and disease though if consumed regularly.

Shampoo makes you lose hair

False

Put down the dry shampoo, because regularly shampooing your hair does not cause excess shedding or hair loss. Having clean hair and a clean scalp will help to maintain your overall hair health, so it’s important to regularly wash your hair with gentle products. However, if you do notice excess shedding when you’re washing, there are certain shampoos you can actually use to help. Try skipping the dry shampoo and replace it with a shampoo that controls shedding instead.

Eating right before bed causes vivid dreams

True

Maybe skip that late night snack, unless of course, you’re looking to have vivid dreams that night. A study conducted by Livestrong stated that eating right before bed can increase brain activity, causing memorable dreams and even nightmares. On the flip side, consuming either nicotine or alcohol prior to going to bed can cause a lighter sleep, reducing the chance of falling into the REM cycle. Although the exact reason as to why we dream is unclear, there is a correlation between eating late and the occurrence of dreaming.

It takes 7 years to digest swallowed gum

False

All of you who swallowed gum accidentally can breathe a sigh of relief. Gum should actually digest through your body in roughly two to three days, not seven years like we’ve always been told to believe. The only time that gum can stick and be harder to pass is if it’s larger than the size of a quarter, which would be a lot of gum to be swallowing in the first place. Although it’s not suggested to swallow gum, if you do once or twice it won’t kill you.

Most of your heat is lost through your head

False

Back in the old days, people wore hats to sleep in the winter to keep warm. Because of this, we’ve come to believe that most of our heat (some even say 80%) is lost through our heads, so we should wear hats in order to preserve our heat. However, heat loss is mainly dependent on the surface area and since our heads are roughly 10% of our overall body, it’s not possible for most of our heat to be lost through our heads. It does lose heat, but not any more than any other part of your body.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

True

Your mother was right about this one all along, as consuming apples is extremely beneficial for your overall health. They contain plenty of vitamin C, fiber, and special phytochemicals which help to improve blood sugar levels. Apples are linked to benefits such as weight control, digestive and immune health, cardiovascular health, and can even aid in preventing cancer. How about them apples?

Chocolate causes breakouts

False

All of you chocolate lovers can thank us, for chocolate is not scientifically correlated to causing breakouts. Breakouts are more commonly related to hormones, stress, and genetics. In times of stress or menstruation, our hormones can get a little out of wack causing cravings. So in these instances, it’s likely the hormones are causing your breakouts, not the food you consume. Although because they occur at the same time, we believe that foods, such as chocolate, cause our acne when in reality it doesn’t. When you notice breakouts occurring randomly, it’s important to find ways to reduce stress and get plenty of sleep to get your hormone levels back on track.

Hangovers can be cured by alcohol

False

After one too many the night before, we’re bound to feel the repercussions in the morning. We’re all familiar with the term “hair of the dog,” which actually originated from the idea that you could heal a dog bite by rubbing their hair on your wound. As ridiculous as this sounds, so is the idea that more alcohol can cure a hangover. Instead of just prolonging the inevitable hangover, it’s best to drink plenty of water, replenish your electrolytes, and stick it out.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

True

We’ve heard this on television, from our parents, from cereal companies, and everywhere in between. However, there have been studies that link eating breakfast to health benefits. Eating breakfast can help lower the risk of coronary heart disease and can improve both cognition and focusing abilities throughout the day. So instead of running out the door and skipping breakfast, plan a little extra time each day to add breakfast into your daily healthy routine.

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