The great thing about science is that scientists don’t let their pride get in the way of the advancement of science. If they discover something they thought was right, but turns out it’s wrong, it’s their responsibility to admit that their previous findings were erroneous.
Of course, over the years we’ve accumulated a huge amount of information about the human body. But which of these so-called facts are actually wrong? Which of these facts, if not straightened out, can cause even more harm than good?
NOT TRUE: You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Not necessarily. But water is a great calorie-free alternative to other sodas. So there’s no need to count the glasses, as long as you drink more water than unhealthy drinks and you drink when you’re thirsty.
NOT TRUE: After eating, you need to wait an hour before you swim because you might drown
If you get cramps, it most likely has nothing to do with the fact that you went swimming on a full stomach.
NOT TRUE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Apples are filled with Vitamin C and fiber, but you need more than just these two nutrients to stay healthy.
NOT TRUE: Blood turns blue when it doesn’t contain oxygen.
Your blood is never blue. It’s dark red when it’s not carrying oxygen. It only looks blue because you see it through several layers of tissue.
NOT TRUE: Carrots can give you night vision.
Carrots contain Vitamin A, which is great for eye health. But no amount of Vitamin A will give you night vision.
NOT TRUE: Coffee will make you stop growing.
In adults, caffeine can slightly limit the body’s calcium absorption. But a little more calcium in the diet should offset this. Otherwise, coffee has no effect on growth.
NOT TRUE: Drugs leave holes in your brain.
Drugs can cause structural and functional damages to the brain, but they don’t leave literal holes!
NOT TRUE: Hair and nails keep growing after death.
The skin actually dries out and shrinks, making the hair and nails appear longer on a corpse.
NOT TRUE: Humans can’t grow new brain cells.
The brain continues to produce new cells well into adulthood. This process is called neurogenesis.
NOT TRUE: Humans have five senses – Sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch.
Humans can also sense temperature, time, the placement of one’s limbs, hunger, pain, balance, and more!
NOT TRUE: If you have a cold, ice cream will make it worse.
Frozen dairy products can actually soothe your sore throat and provide calories you need, especially when your cold is preventing you from eating enough.
NOT TRUE: It takes 7 years for your body to digest gum when you swallow it.
Gum will just pass through your intestines and leave your body in the form of feces.
NOT TRUE: Microwaves can disrupt your pacemaker.
Microwaves won’t do that. But you know what might mess with pacemakers? Anti-theft systems, metal detectors, powerful magnets, mobile phones, and even headphones!
NOT TRUE: Microwaves cause cancer.
Only a few types of radiation can cause cancer, and that depends on the dosage. Microwaves don’t emit that kind of radiation.
NOT TRUE: Natural sugar like honey is better than processed sugar.
Honey and processed sugar have almost the same biological effect. What makes high fructose corn syrup worse for you is the fact that this sugar is present in huge amounts in certain foods.
NOT TRUE: Organic food is pesticide-free and more nutritious.
Farmers who grow organic produce are allowed to use chemicals that are naturally derived, and in some cases these natural chemicals are worse for the environment than their synthetic counterparts!
NOT TRUE: Pregnancy makes women dumb or have “baby brain.”
Quite the opposite. Since expectant mothers have a lot more to worry about, their brains might even be getting a mental boost to keep up!
NOT TRUE: Sugar and chocolates are aphrodisiacs.
There have been no conclusive studies that link ANY food to sexual desire.
NOT TRUE: Sugar is addictive.
This myth was perpetrated by Dr. Robert Lustig, who insinuated that sugar stimulated the same systems that tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin do, therefore making it addictive. However, when recent studies involved neuroimaging in the mix, there were no clear-cut signs of addiction.
NOT TRUE: Sugar makes children hyperactive.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health: “The idea that refined sugar causes ADHD or makes symptoms worse is popular, but more research discounts this theory than supports it.”
NOT TRUE: Taking vitamins will make you healthy.
Research shows that vitamins don’t actually make a difference in making you healthier. Just stick to a healthy diet and ditch the multivitamins.
NOT TRUE: The chemical tryptophan in turkey can put you to sleep.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that can be found in many different types of food. It’s most likely the carbs you ate on your turkey day feast that made you sleepy.
NOT TRUE: The hymen is a sheet of tissue that blocks a woman’s vagina.
It only PARTIALLY blocks the vaginal opening, otherwise how would menstrual blood come out? It can also be easily damaged through exercise and inserting a tampon, which makes it an unreliable basis for virginity.
NOT TRUE: You can eat food you dropped on the floor as long as it hasn’t been there for 5 seconds.
Bacteria can contaminate food in milliseconds. However, wet foods are more likely to be contaminated than dry ones.
NOT TRUE: You can get pimples from chocolate.
Scientists tried this out by feeding dozens of people candy bars with 10 times the usual amount of chocolate, and another group with fake chocolate bars. They counted the zits before and after each diet, and there was no difference between the groups.
Stick around for more of these debunked health myths because we’ve got more!
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