Many health myths have been passed down through generations as "old wives' tales" and have not been challenged by scientific methods. However, modern research has shown some of these myths to be false. In this piece, we will explore and debunk some common health myths.
One of the most common myths is that we need to drink eight glasses of water per day. While drinking enough water every day is good for overall health, the CDC notes that there are no guidelines on how much water we should be drinking daily. Women require 2.7 liters and men require 3.7 liters of "total water" per day, which includes water from different drinks and foods. This indicates that a person's total water intake from beverages, including caffeinated beverages, accounts for approximately 80% of their total water intake, while the remaining 20% of their water intake comes from food. Despite this, many people still believe that we need to drink eight glasses of water per day. However, this belief comes from a misinterpretation of a government report from 1945 and does not have any scientific evidence to back up its health benefits.
Another myth is that being cold can give you a cold. While historically, people believed that being cold causes people to catch a cold, we now know that we become infected with cold viruses through physical contact or being in the same space as infected people. However, being cold may make us more susceptible to catching a cold. When we inhale cold air, the nasal passage cools down and slows the movement of mucus, giving live rhinoviruses more opportunities to break through the mucus barrier and into the body. Cold viruses also thrive in colder weather, but the cold weather myth is not just an old wives' tale.
One myth that has been debunked is that cracking your joints can lead to arthritis. While cracking your joints does not cause arthritis, it can lead to other joint problems such as soft tissue damage and reduced grip strength.
Other myths include eggs being bad for the heart and carrots improving your eyesight. These have also been debunked, as research has shown that moderate egg consumption does not increase the risk of heart disease, and carrots contain vitamin A, which is good for eye health but does not improve eyesight.
In conclusion, while health myths have been around for centuries, it is important to rely on scientific evidence to separate fact from fiction.
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