Regardless as to what part of the world you live in, you’ve probably heard a few old wives tales about certain health issues. These myths have been passed down from generation to generation, and many people believe these stories their whole lives. Others find out the truth later on in life, and more of these myths are being debunked as science and technology improves. Here are five of the most common health “untruths”.
1. You Can Catch a Cold in the Cold
You may have heard this when you were growing up. Your parent would remind you to cover up in the cold air so you wouldn’t get sick. Well, that’s not quite how you “catch” a cold. The cold virus is just that, a virus. And viruses don’t come from cold air, they come from other people. In fact, viruses don’t do well in cold weather at all. So feel free to go outside during winter without a hat and gloves. You may get frostbite, or the cold air may irritate a condition that you already have, but the cold air will not give you the cold virus.
2. 8 Glasses of Water Per Day
This is a long standing rule that has circulated the globe for decades. The truth is that everyone’s water intake needs are different, and this doesn’t account for the foods that you eat which already contain water. New “guidelines” state that you should drink half your body weight in ounces, but again, this is not a requirement as everyone has different dietary needs. For example, some people have ailments that cause them to be on water restrictions.
3. One Bowel Movement Per Day
Most people believe their colon is clogged up if they don’t have a bowel movement every day. This is also another health myth that’s been floating around for years. Like water intake, bowel movements differ for each person. Doctors state that it’s actually very normal to have one every 2-3 days per week. So if you’re not one of those people who go on a daily schedule, there’s nothing to worry about. Just be sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fiber.
4. Take Vitamin C to Prevent Colds
Vitamin C is awesome for your immune system, but it won’t prevent you from getting a cold. This myth is probably responsible for millions of dollars in vitamin C sales over the past few decades. Many parents make taking it part of their kid’s daily regimen, before leaving for school. If you’re a heavy vitamin C user, then your colds may not last as long, but you aren’t immune to them.
5. Gluten Free is Healthier for Everyone
If you’ve gone online anytime in the past year you’ve probably read some pretty bad things about gluten. Health “gurus” today have all shunned gluten, and want you to do the same. The reality is that most people don’t really know what gluten is. In its simple definition, gluten is a natural substance that’s present in cereal and wheat. People with celiac disease can’t process gluten, but for the rest of us, there’s really no need to worry. It’s been a part of our diets for decades.
When it comes to health myths, there’s a lot of misinformation going around. Some of these myths are old, and some have just arrived on the scene. If you’re unsure about a health claim, or just want to know the truth about different issues, it’s best to seek the advice of a licensed physician, or someone who works in the healthcare arena.