If you step on a crack, odds are, you won’t break your mama’s back. Yep, there are plenty of old wives’ tales out there that have long been debunked by science — your body really doesn’t take years to digest gum — or reason — even if your eyes are twitching, you probably won’t come into a pile of riches. But let’s give our ancestors a little credit, shall we? Indeed, there are some old wives’ tales that are totally, completely real. Click through to read more about them.
Do you have a favorite old wives’ tale? Tell us what it is in the comments section!
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1. Carrots are Good for the Eyes.
Sure, carrots may not help you see better in the dark — they’re not magical! What carrots will do, however, is help you maintain your eyesight overall. How’s that? Well, carrots are chock full of vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for eye health.
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2. Wear a Hat When It’s Chilly to Stay Warm.
It’s certainly wise to bundle up as much as possible when it’s cold outside, but are hats really more essential than over items of clothing? Yes, but not exactly for the reason given in that famous old wives’ tale: that more heat is lost through your head than the rest of your body. What is true, though, is that your head is more sensitive to the cold than much of the rest of your body, giving you the illusion that wearing a hat keeps you significantly warmer.
3. Cranberry Juice is Good for a Bladder Infection.
Doctors aren’t totally clear why cranberry juice is a helpful tool for preventing bladder infections, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. And that’s not really surprising: there are over 200 substances in one measly berry!
4. Count Sheep to Fall Asleep.
The practice of counting sheep to fall asleep is so engrained in our culture that it’s best described as a stereotype. But does it actually work? Definitely — but it depends on the person. Often, we’re kept awake at night by stress or by planning what we need to do in our waking hours. The key is to turn your mind off and relax. Counting sheep is a simple and repetitive activity that some people find relaxing. For others, though, it can actually add more stress. Our advice? If it’s not working for you, find another strategy. If it does, great!
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5. Loud Noises Can Cause Hearing Loss.
As we age, our hearing declines — there’s no surprise there. But if you are frequently exposed to loud noises like, say, at rock concerts or cruising around in your Harley, your hearing can decline more quickly than it otherwise would. All the more reason to wear earplugs!
6. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.
Apples are nutrition powerhouses. Full of fiber, vitamin C, flavonoids, and all sorts of other healthy properties, this tasty fruit has been linked to a lower risk of strokes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, and asthma. What’s not to love?
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7. Sucking Your Thumb Gives You Buck Teeth.
For generations, parents have warned their children that sucking their thumb can give them buck teeth later in life. It may seem like an idea that would have gone the way of the Dodo, but it’s an entirely real possibility. Thumb-sucking is common among young children. But if it keeps going on when a child’s permanent teeth start to grow in, the teeth can become misaligned and, eventually, push top teeth out. If you want to avoid a pricey set of braces, encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb after they reach the age of 6!