WE’VE all been told by our parents not to go out with wet hair and to stock up on vitamins if we have a cold.
But how many of these old wives’ tales and so-called wellness hacks actually work?
ここに, experts debunk fact from fiction when it comes to the biggest health myths around.
FICTION: Going out with wet hair gives you a cold
太陽と話す, practising London GP Nikita Patel said as the winter months draw in, many people become concerned about catching a cold.
彼女は言いました: “Many believe that going out with wet hair is a way we catch a cold but that’s just not the case.
“Viruses that cause colds are actually in the air and can be hard to avoid, but there are measures we can take to help prevent us from catching one.
“We don’t know exactly why colds peak in the winter months but one theory is that the cold weather drives us indoors where we have closer contact with others and are more likely to pass colds on to each other.
“That’s why avoiding close contact or sharing towels with those who have a cold is really important.
“Many cold viruses are also passed on by touch, so washing your hands frequently helps to reduce the transmission of colds and ultimately, catching one,” Dr Nikki who is the associate medical director at Vitality 前記.
She added that if you get the flu jab, you will be given a dead or inactivated form of the influenza virus.
While it may give you a slight temperature or sore arm, it won’t give you a cold. It’s more likely the cold was already in your system or you caught it at the same time, 彼女は言いました.
FICTION: Feed a cold, starve a fever
Dr Nikki said that another myth, is that you should ‘feed a cold and starve a fever’.
“While we might not feel like eating, it’s important to try and keep our energy up to help our bodies fight off the virus.
“This means drinking plenty of water and eating well,” 彼女は言いました.
FACT: Garlic can boost your immune system
Ryan James, nutritionist at Vitality said that garlic is a great way to boost your body’s immunity.
However he added that it should only be ingested when crushed, infused, roasted or diced.
彼が追加した: “Though some old wives’ tales suggest it can help with congestion – never put a garlic clove up your nose.
“Not only is this dangerous, it won’t put a stop to your cold or quicken your recovery.”
FICTION: Spicy foods banish colds
James said that another common myth is that spicy foods can help you get rid of colds.
The expert explained: “While it is a natural decongestant and can relieve the symptoms of a cold in the short-term, unfortunately it is not a guaranteed way to make you feel better.
“The same goes for hot drinks such as tea. Warm water with squeezed lemon and ginger is more beneficial when it comes to our health.
“The lemon provides a potent vitamin C boost and the ginger has natural antibacterial properties, while the warm water will help ease a sore throat.”
FACT: Drinking orange juice can ease your cold
If you’re suffering, you might have been offered a glass of orange juice to ‘boost your immunity’.
James said that any form of vitamin C is great when it comes to this.
He said you should include plenty of green vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli, as he said in some instances, these sources of vitamin C can help reduce the length and severity of a cold.
FACT: Carrots can help you see in the dark
We all remember being sat around the dinner table as kids refusing our veggies.
With frustrated parents urging us to eat our carrots as they will help you see in the dark.
Nutritionist Lily Soutter said there is actually some truth in this.
彼女は言いました: “Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body.
“This nutrient is important for contributing to the maintenance of normal vision.
“A deficiency in vitamin A can reduce vision in dim light and may result in night blindness.”
The expert, who is working with food brand Comvita 追加されました: “Carrots can help us to meet our daily vitamin A requirements, しかしながら, if our vitamin A status is sufficient, more of this nutrient won’t enhance night vision further.”
FACT: Honey can ease a cough
Lily said that using a high quality honey, such as Manuka, is more effective at relieving cough symptoms in comparison to no treatment.
この, 彼女は言いました, is thanks to its antimicrobial properties, and has also been shown soothe the throat.
“それだけでなく, Manuka honey from New Zealand, contains over 2,000 plant chemicals which is substantially more than regular honey,”.
She added that it’s important to note that honey can’t be given to children under the age of one.
FICTION: Chicken soup can cure a cold
For many people, sitting down with a bowl of chicken soup is a form of comfort if you’re feeling a little under the weather.
But Lily said that this old favorite is unlikely to stop a cold in its tracks.
“What we do know is that fueling our body with nourishing and wholesome foods may give our immune system the best chance of doing its job when infection hits.
“There is limited evidence in test tube studies that chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory activities which, 理論的には, could ease the symptoms of a cold, but more research in humans is required to confirm these effects,” 彼女は付け加えた.