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Common Health Myths And The Facts Behind Them

If you have spent a lot of time reading articles on health and fitness, or spent time on the internet, you are sure to come across a number of health ‘facts’. Most of these health myths are unreliable and cannot be credited as authentic. To be fair, a lot of these have come from grandma’s tales and to exploit gullible people desperate for a health change. We cannot always verify these health myths with a simple online search because some of them would have been articles recycled from other sources. Some of these health myths, however, do have some basis of truth behind them and some recent research studies have confirmed their authenticity. We take a look at some of the most common health myths and debunk the facts behind some of them.

Health Myths - a reality check

  • Carrots are good for you: How often have we heard our mothers and grandmothers coaxing us to eat carrots because they were good for our eyes? Sometime after World War II, it was revealed that the furor surrounding carrots was merely a propaganda. But if you feel like celebrating, you should know that researchers have proven that carrots are in fact rich in Vitamin which does help our eyesight. Along with Vitamin A, carrots are also packed with beta-carotene which is good for the eyes and skin.
  • Eating before sleeping is bad: This is another of those health myths that has in fact been proven right. The timing of your dinner shouldn’t have too much of an effect on your nightmares and it does sound absolutely ridiculous. But several studies have found a link between eating late and bad dreams. It is assumed that the mechanism behind this could be due to our metabolism being too active when we go to sleep immediately after dinner. This could make our brain a little more restless than usual.
  • Women feel colder than men: In movies, it is a common occurrence for the guy to give the girl his jacket when she’s cold. Most of the time, we would be wondering why the woman doesn’t have a jacket with her. Cliched as it sounds, the reality is that scientifically, women are more unprepared for the cold than men. Their threshold for the cold is far different than that of men. A Dutch study stated that for most women, their comfortable temperatures is almost 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than men. That’s why women feel colder far sooner than men do.
  • Exercising does make you smart: Regular exercise does a lot of good things for your body, one of which is that it helps you keep in shape and improves your quality of life while strengthening your immune system. But if someone told you that it also makes you smarter, you’d brush it off. If you do a bit of research on the subject, you’d find that they are right. Studies have found that regular exercise releases a protein called irisin which improves the neural connection between various parts of our brain, improving our memory and analytical skills.
  • Spicy foods help you lose weight: This is another common health myth that does sound absolutely false. In fact, weight-watchers have often heard enough myths that get stranger with each passing day. But this is one advice you’d want to listen. A study has stated that chemicals found in spice inducers like peppers and chili have a chemical that helps you in raising your metabolism and triggers weight loss. It works like most exercises - burning away your fat and it does work!
  • Monsoons affect your joint pains: You must have probably heard your grandmother complain that the monsoons have aggravated her aches and pains. While we may brush it off as another one of those health myths, the reality is that the rainy seasons can affect your immune system and your body’s capacity to tolerate pain. Weather does have an impact on joint pain and arthritis.

Health Myths and their truths

While most of the time a number of things we hear and see on the internet are unreliable, it becomes difficult to identify whether some of these things are health myths or factual in nature. It is always nice when we know the facts behind most health myths.

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