The success of the internet came with a surprising amount of misinformation and to this day, many people have difficulty separating fact from fiction… especially when it comes to health. Even before the internet, people would suggest remedies to miraculously cure illnesses or aids to help with weight loss, but did they actually work? Now in the age of the internet, there are more health myths than ever before and according to science, they’re not all lies. Here are some myths that were proven to be true.
1. Eating Before Sleeping Gives You Nightmares
“Eating before you go to sleep will give you nightmares” seems like something a parent or fitness fanatic would say because if you think about it, how would the timing of a meal affect your dreams? Well according to several studies, despite not understanding how or why it happens, eating late has been linked to having bad dreams. Some theorize that it is because your metabolism becomes overactive when sleeping right after a meal. This causes the brain to become restless leading to increased activity. It was later discovered that there were some foods, like dairy which were more likely to induce nightmares.
2. Exercise Makes You Smarter
The health benefits of exercising regularly have been proven a million times over but there was always one myth that was difficult to get one’s head around and it was that exercise made people smarter. Less than 10 years ago, a study published in Nature Medicine claimed to have found the proof. According to them exercising releases a protein called irisin which is said to improve the neural connections in the brain, including parts linked to memory and critical thinking. The study also claimed that the protein reduced the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A later study found similar results.
3. Eating Spicy Food Helps You Lose Weight
There seems to be an endless list of ways to lose weight from fads like the military diet to staring at the sun (in China), but not all of them have been proven to work. For centuries, it was believed that eating spicy food would lead to weight loss and it does. A study conducted by the University of Wyoming isolated the chemical compound, capsaicin – an active component of hot peppers and fed it to mice. They then raised the rodents’ fat intake and noticed that they were unable to gain weight as long as they were on capsaicin. It works by increasing the metabolism and triggering thermogenesis – heat production.
4. Garlic Helps with Toothaches
Toothaches can be very painful and unless there’s a dentist in the family, then chances are you’ll have to put up with the pain for a little while before being able to see a dentist. If that’s the case you might or might not have heard that biting a clove of garlic can relieve the pain, and it’s all because of the allicin found in garlic. It helps to kill the bacteria associated with most toothaches and is only found in fresh garlic. The downside is that eating raw garlic can lead to bad breath and bloating but the near-immediate relief is worth it.
5. Monsoons Make Joint Pain Worse
If you’ve met someone with arthritis who lives in a monsoon-prone area, they would have told you at least once that the pain gets worse when the weather changes. Despite many people experiencing the phenomenon, doctors were unable to prove it until a recent study showed that weather has an impact on not only arthritis, but other types of joint pain. One study found that changes in room temperature, humidity and barometric pressure all have an impact on arthritic pain. It was also shown that doctors’ visits for that type of pain increased during the monsoon season.
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