Old Wives Tales: true or false?

CNN
Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 12:00pm

We've all heard at least a few old wives' tales- pieces of advice that have been passed down from previous generations.

Feed a cold, starve a fever. Eat a lot of carrots for good vision. Are these 'old wives tales'-- or are they legit?

Answers in a moment, but first, let's take a closer look at some other popular claims.

Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.

“There's no studies to confirm that. When you crack your knuckles, it's actually gas expanding that causes the noise,” said Dr. Daryl Sherrod, who is a family practice physician with the DeKalb Medical Physicians Group.

What about this one?

Going outside with wet hair will make you sick. Not necessarily.

“The decrease in body temperature could potentially make you more susceptible to certain viruses..however, just going out with wet hair does not always mean you're gonna catch a cold,” Dr. Sherrod said.

Speaking of, let's go back to this saying?

You should feed a cold and starve a fever.

“The key to any illness is making sure you're staying hydrated. Eating is not necessary, but definitely staying hydrated is important,” Dr. Sherrod told CNN.

How about one that's at least partially true? Eating a lot of carrots can help your vision.

“Eating an excess of them is not going to improve your vision. It will provide you vitamin a that you need for vision but eating them in excess is not going to give you x-ray vision or anything spectacular like that,” Dr. Sherrod explained.

One thing is for certain. Getting a good amount of veggies is always a good thing.

 

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