They have been passed down through the ages. They are called old wives’s tales. Things your mother told you to watch out for. A lot of these are in the arena of health and medicine. Today we are going to examine a few of these. A classic example would be: “Don’t read in the dark, it’ll strain your eyes.”
The truth is your eyes will be fine if you read in the dark. Your eye has an iris that acts like a camera lens, it constricts when there’s bright light and dilates when the light is dim. Look at Abraham Lincoln. He read all of his law books by candlelight and he turned out all right.
According to CNN: “You’ve always heard that…”
Don’t cut that crust off of the bread. It’s good for you. Actually yes and no. The crust has no more vitamins and nutrients than the rest of the bread. But researchers have found that the baking process deposits some cancer fighting substances that are more concentrated in the crust. In any case, you should eat whole wheat bread instead of the white stuff.
If you don’t dress warmly enough or go outside after washing your hair, you’ll catch a cold. Not really. Colds are caused by viruses and spread from person to person. There was one small study that showed that people who were cold were more likely to catch the virus. It may have something to do with an immune system response.
If you frown a lot or cross your eyes your face will freeze in that position or your eyes will be permanently crossed. Yeah, and if you sleep with a coat hanger in your mouth, you’re bound to wake up with a smile. Things like crossing your eyes, frowning, or cracking your knuckles won’t cause you any harm.
You lose 75% of your body heat through the top of your head. That may be true if you are a baby because babies have huge heads in relation to their body size, but not if you are an adult. In reality, an adult loses about 10% of his body heat through the top of his head.
Scare someone who has the hiccups and it will cure them. Nope it won’t. Holding your breath may help a little, but the best way to cure the hiccups is to swallow a teaspoon of sugar. Nobody knows why it works, but it does.
Warm milk and turkey will make you sleepy. Nada. Both contain small amounts of a sleep-inducing chemical called tryptophan but you’d have to eat a couple of turkeys for it to have an effect.