If you’re eager to improve your wellbeing without any shortcuts or falsities, avoid these 5 downright peculiar health myths.
The 5 second rule
No no no. As appealing as that snack looks from the floor, leave it be. You may have cleaned the house just yesterday or believe that you’re immune to a bit of dirt, but the fact is, bacteria from the floor can cling onto whatever you’ve dropped even in a short space of time.
Dr Ronald Cutler from the University of London has tried and tested this theory, and the results that came back are concerning. All the food tested in his ‘5 second rule’ study came back heavily contaminated. Don’t put yourself at risk of food poisoning, just bin it.
Eating chocolate gives you spots
Are you a chocolate fiend, but have abandoned your love of the sweet treat in hope of clear skin? Well, you needn’t have worried so much. Science says that the link between the two is minimal, if not nonexistent. The cause of pesky pimples is as a result of an overproduction of sebum in the skin - not chocolate.
However, this is no excuse to go chocolate mad. Just indulge in the higher cacao variety every once in awhile; dark chocolate brings a multitude of health benefits.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
If only this was true. If you’re a fan of sugary binges topped up with booze and fast food, and have been relying on that one apple a day as a saving grace, we’ve bad news - you can’t take it so literally.
This old English proverb is referring to nutritious foodstuffs as a whole and how, by making the right diet choices, you can avoid trips to doctor. Apples in particular are a great choice - high in antioxidants, they help curb cancers, decrease your risk of diabetes and leave you teeth sparkling.
Drink 8 glasses of water a day
In case you hadn’t heard, you don’t need to treat ‘drinking 8 glasses of water a day’ as gospel. It’s purely a recommendation - there’s no scientific formula behind what one person should drink, it’s varies. ‘8 glasses’ is there as a figure to aim for as staying hydrated is very very important.
If you feel like you’re overdoing it with the h2o, reduce your intake if needs be. Or alternatively, if 8 glasses isn’t enough, keeping topping up your glass. Just drink enough water to be suitably hydrated, it’s as simple as that.
It takes 7 years to digest chewing gum
Hurrah, you can swallow gum without the near-decade worry that it’s stuck to your stomach. The rumour that ‘it takes 7 years to digest chewing gum’ is completely false; swallowing gum only causes problems when it’s lodged in there with larger things, like say, if you wrapped your gum around a small toy and then swallowed it - then you’d have problems.
We wouldn’t advise that you swallow every piece of gum you chew, but if it happens on the odd occasion, you can sleep soundly in the knowledge that it won’t be there for 7 years.