February 27, 2019
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Going outside without your jacket will give you a cold. Sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes. These are just a few of the "Health Myths" that we've all heard a million times, and most of us have made a point to follow religiously.
Now, thanks to scientific research, and this Reader's Digest article I found, some of these classic myths have been proven to be true. So prepare yourself to learn that all that stuff mom told you growing up was actually the truth. Mom always knows best!
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*-- Tips for Healthy Living --*
5 Health "Myths" That Are Actually True
Health Myth #1: An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away
While eating an apple a day probably won't keep you from catching that nasty cold going around the office, a number of studies suggest that it could provide even greater health benefits. Researchers from the University of Oxford estimate that if every adult over 50 ate an apple a day, it could prevent or delay approximately 8,500 vascular deaths from heart attacks and strokes every year in the U.K. Scientists at Cornell also found that eating apples-thanks to their healthy substances like flavonoids and antioxidants-could inhibit the development of breast cancer. How 'bout them apples?
Health Myth #2: Going Outside Without Your Jacket Will Give You A Cold
While you need to be exposed to a germ to get sick, you may be more susceptible to that germ when you're shivering. One study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that immune cells in your nose and upper airway may not function as well in cooler temperatures. Plus, viruses can become more virulent in the cold, according to the NIH. That's because cold weather makes the outer membrane of the flu virus solidify, so the germ becomes more durable and easier to transmit. Once it enters your respiratory tract, the gel coating liquefies and the virus is ready to wreak havoc on your body.
Health Myth #3: Sitting Too Close To The TV Is Bad For Your Eyes
Actually, this is partially a myth: Despite what mom said, sitting close to the TV seems to be relatively safe, research suggests, with the only potential risks being eye strain and fatigue. But staring at your smartphone-arguably the 21st-century version of this myth-might cause some serious damage. Researchers from the University of Toledo found that the blue light from a smartphone or computer could harm the retina, as well as speed up blindness in patients with macular degeneration. Other scientists worry about children, in particular: One study found that kids who spent seven or more hours per week using computers or playing mobile video games tripled their risk of developing nearsightedness (myopia), while another discovered that children who held their phones eight to 12 inches from their eyes for prolonged periods of time were at a greater risk for temporary convergent strabismus, aka going cross-eyed.
Health Myth #4: When It Comes To Your Brain, Use It or Lose It
A bevy of research indicates that if you constantly challenge your brain, you may be able to stave off cognitive impairment, dementia, and possibly even Alzheimer's. One study, which focused on people between 55 and 75, suggests that something as simple as playing video games could improve brain function and increase grey matter in the hippocampus. Another looked at older adults who regularly engaged in "mentally engaging activities," such as reading and doing crossword puzzles, and reported that they scored higher on mental-sharpness tests.
Health Myth #5: Carrots Are Good For Your Eyes
While carrots won't improve your vision, research suggests that they can help maintain it. The reason lies with beta carotene, a carotenoid (or pigment) that the body converts to vitamin A. Your body uses vitamin A to build proteins for eye cells; if you have too little of it, you might even suffer from night blindness. Furthermore, a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology found that people who ate high levels of carotenoids had a 40 percent lower risk of developing advanced macular degeneration, the most common cause of age-related blindness. And for the record, it's not just carrots: Sweet potatoes and orange peppers, as well as dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are also rich in carotenoids.
Original Article for Readers Digest
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