We’ve all heard them; those very believable health myths that seem to stick in our brains and have us convinced.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. You shouldn’t swim after you eat. Gum stays in your body for 7 years after you eat it.
These are all things many of us learned as kids, and may still believe. But is there any truth behind them?
7 Crazy Health Myths
These are some of the most popular health myths we could find. Each one we’d all heard at least once.
Myth #1: An apple a day keeps the doctor away
This old Welsh proverb is one you’ve no doubt heard before. Apples are not only delicious, they’re jam packed with vitamins and minerals that are important for a healthy diet.
Apples are rich in important antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fiber. They have the potential to help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
But they can’t do it alone. An apple a day isn’t going to keep you healthy all on its own, so just add them to your regular healthy eating.
Myth #2: You can’t grow new brain cells
Have you heard this one before? That once brain cells are damaged, they’re lost to you forever? It was believed to be the case for decades – that the adult brain could not regenerate new brain cells.
Thankfully, we now know that you can grow new brain cells throughout your entire life. The process is called neurogenesis. And you can actually help this process take place. Eat blueberries, get some sleep, de-stress, exercise, and do a crossword. Feeding the brain and keeping it stimulated all work to encourage the growth of those new cells.
Myth #3: Carrots Help You See in the Dark
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is, in fact, very good for eye health. Vitamin A helps the eye convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain. This is what allows you to see better in low light.
That said, carrots aren’t going to give you super night vision.
This myth dates back to World War II, when the U.K. government reported that Air Force pilots ate a diet full of carrots to be able to see at night. Decades later it was uncovered that the British Royal Air Force pushed the message to keep the existence of radar technology they were relying on for their nighttime raids a secret.
Myth #4: Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis
I believed this one for years. I was afraid to have it happen even accidentally.
Fortunately, there is no evidence whatsoever that those who crack their knuckles develop arthritis any more than those who don’t. It may annoy people to no end, but it isn’t going to lead to this painful degenerative disease later in life.
Myth #5: You can cure a hangover by drinking more
Hair of the dog? How many times has someone encouraged you to down a mimosa or Bloody Mary the morning after?
Sorry folks, this one’s all fiction. What’s worse, it could just prolong that hangover, making you feel worse for longer.
But wait for it – the same goes for coffee. Like alcohol, coffee is a diuretic. This means it will just dehydrate you more. This won’t help your hangover at all unfortunately.
Myth #6: Going out in the cold can give you a cold
“Wear a jacket or you’ll catch a cold.” Ever hear that one as a child? I sure did. Whether my parents believed it or not, this myth has survived through the ages.
It is, however, yet another falsehood. Being cold won’t make you sick, unless of course you include hypothermia (which, for this myth, doesn’t count). A sniffling, runny nose or sore throat has nothing to do with the temperature outside and everything to do with germs and bacteria you come in contact with.
Myth #7: Eggs are bad for your heart
Omelettes, eggs benedict, egg salad, devilled eggs. There are tons of ways to eat eggs. So many that you could eggs at every meal. But there’s a myth that doing so could be bad for your heart.
But it’s just that – a myth. Well, sort of.
According to Harvard Health, “From what we know today, here’s the bottom line: for most people, an egg a day does not increase your risk of a heart attack, a stroke, or any other type of cardiovascular disease. No more than three eggs per week is wise if you have diabetes, are at high risk for heart disease from other causes (such as smoking), or already have heart disease.”
So, this is the only myth on the list that’s not technically a full-blown myth. That said, you can eat your eggs and still have a very healthy heart.
Myths Debunked – Final Thoughts
Sure, there is a lot of health advice to take to heart. Eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep – these are all important. Just don’t believe everything you hear – even if your mother told you.
Oh and those other 2 health myths we mentioned – swimming after eating and gum taking 7 years to digest? Also myths. Swimming after eating isn’t dangerous at all. And if you swallow gum, it’s true that your body can’t digest it. But the gum doesn’t stay in your stomach. It goes where everything else goes – out!