Urban legends and myths have been passed down, recreated and followed for many years. A few of the most common ones you may have heard are things like, swimming after eating will give you cramps, carrots improve your vision, you need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and many more. Chances are you have probably fallen for at least one of these health myths and even warned your friends about them, just to find out they aren’t true. Here are seven of the most well-known health myths that you should ignore:
Gum takes seven years to pass through your digestive tract
Although it is true that your body can’t digest chewing gum, it isn’t true that it won’t ever pass through your body. It will exit your body the same way that everything else you eat does. The only time that swallowed gum has caused a problem is when it is swallowed with other objects that shouldn’t be in your stomach. Which has been found to happen more often with little kids.
You can catch a cold from being outside too long
There is no evidence that says going outside when it’s cold out will make you sick. In fact, studies have found that people tend to catch more colds in the winter because they spend more time inside in close contact with other people. Making it more likely to encounter a cold-causing virus spread from another person.
You only use 10% of your brain
Simple actions such as speaking, moving your hands or stretching use far more than 10% of your brain. Even when you think you are doing nothing, your brain is actually doing a lot, such as controlling your breathing and heart rate. However, it is true that you can learn new things, but in doing so you will not use an unused portion of your brain.
If you eat food within five seconds of dropping it on the floor, it’s safe
The amount of time that food sits on the floor doesn’t change the amount of bacteria that sticks to it. If bacteria is present, it will stick to the food instantly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12% of food-borne illness is the result of cross-contamination with food from surfaces.
Coffee stunts your growth
The idea that coffee stunts your growth first came from the misconception that coffee causes osteoporosis, which has been associated with loss of height. Since then, it has been proven that coffee does not cause osteoporosis nor does osteoporosis make you shorter. The other problem with this theory is that most growth occurs long before most people become regular coffee drinkers.
Sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes
This myth started when televisions were first invented and used to give off levels of radiation that after extended periods, could increase the risk of eye problems in some people. Fortunately, now with newer televisions you won’t have to worry about that, and no matter what distance you view it, you won’t damage your eyesight.
Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis
Although the sound of someone cracking their knuckles might bother you, it isn’t harmful to them. The “pop” that you hear is caused by bubble bursting in the synovial fluid- fluid that aids in lubricating joints. Even if you’ve cracking your knuckles for years, you aren’t more likely to develop arthritis or joint pain.
One thing we know that is a myth is that health insurance isn’t needed. The 10 essential benefits are a great example of what our health can cover that we may not think about right away. If you currently don’t have health insurance, Nevada Health Link is here to help. As part of a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). In other words, certain life events or situations, such as job loss, income change, marriage/divorce or birth/adoption of a child, may allow you to enroll in an insurance plan through Nevada Health Link outside of the annual open enrollment period.
All of our health plans exist to reduce the costs of health insurance and make sure you are covered. We’re always to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.