We’ve all heard them, they are almost like mantras. But, will an apple a day really keep the doctor away? What about swallowing your chewing gum. Does it really stay in your stomach? There are a lot of these rules, let’s examine a few of them.
1) An apple a day: The answer to this one is sometimes. Apples are full of vitamins and other healthful qualities. When eaten in a healthy diet, this fruit may help prevent a lot of unnecessary problems. However, there will always be times when a doctor is needed. The idea that eating an apple will heal a broken leg or stop a heart attack in progress is as silly as it sounds when you read it.
2) Carrots are good for your eyes: I’ve been told all my life that I have to eat carrots to make my eyes better. In a way, that’s true. The beta-carotene content in carrots will help prevent some vision problems, even for those who have other, less easily corrected vision problems.
3) Cracking knuckles causes arthritis: This one was probably made up by someone related to a notorious knuckle cracker. No, cracking them doesn’t cause arthritis, but it does annoy the rest of the population. Out of consideration, you may want to break the habit, even if it won’t hurt you.
4) Cranberries can help prevent/treat Urinary Tract Infections: Believe it or not, there may be some truth to this idea. A study indicates that something in the berries and juice that prevents bacteria from attacking cells. It’s still a good idea to see the doctor if you suspect an infection.
5) Don’t swallow your gum: While it isn’t a good idea to swallow it, chewing gum will pass through the digestive tract. It won’t stay in your stomach forever, which is probably a relief to those who routinely swallowed it as children.
6) Feed a cold/starve a fever: Not really. Adequate nutrition is required when you are sick, though it may be a good to eat lighter foods and drink plenty of fluids.
7) Wet hair causes colds: There is no relationship between wet hair and colds.
8) Eight glasses of water: While most of us are at least somewhat dehydrated, eight glasses may be a little too much. Liquid in fruits and vegetables can provide some of the needed fluids. Fruit juices can also be helpful, although don’t count coffee or cola beverages towards your liquid count. They’re diuretics and will make dehydration more likely.
9) Five second rule: Under most conditions, eating something that landed on the floor briefly should not be a problem. You don’t need to blow on it or worry if it’s been six seconds instead of five. Now, if it landed in the manure pile, I’d suggest you leave it.
10) Stepping on a nail: Mom is right; if you step on a nail or otherwise puncture yourself with rusty or dirty nails you need to see the doctor right away and make sure your tetanus booster is up to date.