With the new Netflix documentary ‘Game Changers’ revealing that some of the world’s top athletes including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lewis Hamilton and Novak Djokovic have now turned to the vegan lifestyle, the myth that meat is the main source of protein has been debunked!
Throughout our childhood, we were always told the old wives’ tale; if we didn’t eat the crusts of our bread, we wouldn’t get curly hair, or it was bad luck to walk under a ladder. However, many myths revolved around our health. Of course, the ‘step on a crack, break your back’ saying isn’t exactly true, but what other concepts do we sometimes follow and believe? Here, we take a look at myths involving your health.
It is assumed by many that cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis later on in life. Research has found that up to 54% of us actually do it – whether it’s pulling the tip of each until they crack, making a fist or bending our fingers away from our hand. Men are also more likely to do it. The popping noise and sensation is created by the spaces between the joints increasing, which causes gases dissolved in the synovial fluid to form microscopic bubbles. These bubbles then merge into larger bubbles and are popped by additional fluid that has filled the enlarged space.
While there is a suggestion that the cracking could cause wear and tear in the same way that a mechanical joint would get, there hasn’t been a huge amount of research into the matter
In the same way that a mechanical joint is affected, it’s thought that cracking could cause wear and tear to our joints. However, in terms of research to back this up, little has been done. However, a study from 2010 claimed that there was no difference in the prevalence of osteoarthritis between those who did or did not crack their knuckles.
So, continue cracking- for now anyways!
Soap bars in bed
As legend has it, an effective way to relieve muscle cramps, especially in your lower legs, is to place a bar of soap under your bed sheets. While those who perform this method stand by it, there is no plausible or scientific explanation that has been given to suggest that this actually does work.
There are however some techniques that have been proven to help those who get lower leg cramps. This includes reducing your caffeine intake on a night time, stretching your calf muscles before bed, investing in the right supplements for joints, and increasing your intake of essential electrolytes, including potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Putting onions in your socks
Some people swear by the idea of putting onions in your socks when you have the flu is a great remedy to help cure you. The concept is that, because onions are slightly acidic, there can be antibacterial results when rubbed against things. Unfortunately for the believers, onions in your socks hasn’t been found to aid your recovery. As viruses require direct contact with a human being to spread, this wouldn’t allow an onion to draw the virus in and absorb it.
In short, this myth has become victim to the placebo effect.
Always feed a cold and starve a fever
There is some truth in this, therefore it is not entirely a myth. The folklore of starving a fever has been around for hundreds of years, with some medical historians linking it as far back at the 1500s. Throughout this time period, doctors thought that fevers were caused by your metabolism over working itself. However, you shouldn’t starve your fever, modern-day experts have warned. Doing so means you’ll have a lower calorie intake, which can then make it more difficult for your body to fight off the flu virus.
Recent research suggests that it can be dangerous for you to eat less during the early stages of a bad infection, meaning that most experts will dismiss the starve-a-fever comment as purely folklore.
Don’t Swallow Your Chewing Gum
At some point in our lives, we’ve all been taught the horror stories of what happens if you swallow your chewing gum. Some of us may have been scared off swallowing our gum as it will stay in our system for seven years. While it’s not particularly advisable to do so, you can relax – this is a decades-old bit of folklore, according to pediatric gastroenterologist David Milov of the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Orlando. He explained: “That would mean that every single person who ever swallowed gum within the last seven years would have evidence of the gum in the digestive tract. On occasion we’ll see a piece of swallowed gum, but usually it’s not something that’s any more than a week old.”
Improving our vision with carrots
As myths have it, carrots are a great cure for an abundance of illnesses. Throughout the years, they have been associated with helping cure everything from snakebites to STDs. However, one of the most popular comments is that carrots can help you see in the dark.
To our surprise, this old tale was simply nothing more than propaganda that was spread during the Second World War after the British Royal Air Force fabricated the idea that fighter pilot Jon ‘cats’ eyes’ Cunningham ate the vegetable that then gave him is great skills. This led to it being mandated for people to eat their carrots, as it would help them see better during the blackouts.
While carrots don’t directly improve your vision, the high levels of Vitamin A and lutein in them can help benefit your overall vision health, so do have a go at growing your own!
Now thanks to modern day research, there are many old folks’ tales that can be suppressed. Without having the facts and figures, don’t play with your health. If you want clarification of an ailment, make sure you speak to your GP before believing old wives’ tales.
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