Debunking Old Wives’ Tales

Does going out with wet hair give you a cold? Do toads really give warts? Does shaving really make your beard grow faster? Our childhood is peppered with anecdotes that our grandparents give to us, which they might have got from their own grandparents. But beyond all the tips to lose weight, tips to conceive, hygiene tips and what not, there really is no proof that these ‘Old Wives’ Tales’ actually work. The intentions behind them might be for the best, but when it comes to health, you can’t leave it to the imagination. That’s what you have science for. Back your tips for a healthy life with facts, as we debunk some Old Wives’ tales for you:

1) Cracking knuckles leads to arthritis

While cracking your knuckles may not exactly be beneficial, they are not harmful too. When you crack your knuckles, you’re merely creating air cavities in your joint due to elongation of muscles. The popping sound is of the gas escaping. So the next time you have the urge to crack your knuckles, do so without the fear of getting arthritis.

2) Chocolate helps with pre-menstrual cramps

If you believed what everyone said, chocolate would be the cure for every disease in the world. But truth be told, while chocolate might help you with your cravings, but it sure doesn’t help with the pre-menstrual cramps. What works for pre-menstrual cramps is exercise for pregnant women. Sorry, chocolate lovers.

3) Carrots improve your vision

What started off as rumor during the second world war, has manifested as one of Grandma’s favorite dinner time myth. While carrots might certainly be one of the healthiest food for kids to eat, it won’t do anything to improve your eyesight. It however certainly provides Vitamin A that helps prevent night blindness.

4) Spicy food causes ulcers

If the spicy food was the main reason behind ulcers, then the Mexicans would be the first one to complain. But fortunately, it’s not the reason. Spicy foods may aggravate the discomfort from existing ulcers, but the main reason is excessive use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

5) Exercise is a strict no-no after heart attack

Of all the myths about heart diseases, this one is the most dangerous of them all. A heart attack survivor’s first step of rehabilitation is to get active. Indulging in exercises prescribed by your heart specialist is a must for preventing any recurrence.

There’s nothing wrong in heeding the advice of your parents and grandparents. After all, they only have the best of intentions. It gets wrong when we stop fact-checking them. Instead, educate your loved ones about the correct reasoning behind them. For when it comes to health, it pays to be smart.