I remember exactly how it came up; we were watching the awesome Brendan Frasier film, The Mummy, when the old adage/wives tale about humps and water storage for Camels came up. Being an insufferable know-it-all, I had to ruin everyone's fun with the truth... And now I've decided to force those same facts upon you; that you too can profit from some epic myth busting. I'm gonna be giving you 5 "the good"; sayings or adages that are true or at least have their main emphasis in fact. I will then follow it up with a combination of 5 "the bad" (things that are half true) and "the ugly" (absolutely not true). Welcome to part 1 of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Old Wives Tales and Sayings.


Sick? Eat Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade chicken bouillon or broth, view from above
Credit: fortyforks

It’s long believed that when you’re sick you should eat chicken soup. While the soup itself isn’t exactly a cure for the common cold, it can help you in the relief of your symptoms. Chicken soup can reduce inflammation by slowing down the white blood cell activity responsible. In addition, the salt in the soup is very soothing to a raw and scratchy throat. Homemade versions also boast airway opening herbs like bay leaves, garlic, and carrots, which all carry beneficial health applications and vitamins.

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away

Green apple
Credit: S847

Actually, this old wives tale is more fact than fiction. Apples are rich in vitamin C and fiber, and contain a special phytochemical that can help regulate digestion and improve blood glucose control. A 2013 study discovered that if everyone over 50-years-old in the United Kingdom ate just one apple per day, they could actually prevent or delay 8500 heart attacks and strokes per year! Fiber and phytochemical are most concentrated in an apple’s skin, so you’ll get the most benefits from eating your apples with the skin on and raw.

Long and difficult labor = probably a boy

Little boy is crying - selective focus
Credit: Chalabala

Science has now proven that baby boys tend to give their mothers more difficulty during labor. A study conducted in 2003 found that women who are delivering boys are more likely to have complications during labor, resulting in an increased number of emergency c-sections. One of the reasons, our big heads. Yes, boys tend to be larger and heavier at birth than girls, and their larger heads cause more issues for birthing mothers.

Chocolate helps with PMS

Chocolate heap
Credit: Ekaterina Minaeva

Cravings during this time happen for health and physiological reasons. Studies suggest that chocolate has a calming effect and can ease anxiety and moodiness; the reason? Chocolate is a source of nutrients and antioxidants such as anandamide. In fact, eating dark chocolate can relieve painful cramps, since dark chocolate also contains magnesium, which is known to effect muscles and cramps.

Full Moon Crazies

Dramatic Nighttime Sky and Clouds With Large Full Moon
Credit: ricardoreitmeyer

It turns out you’re not imagining it if your kids and animals (some adults) get a little crazy during the full moon. Researchers haven’t yet categorically proven that lunar patterns affect things like behavior, fertility, or birth rate, but some studies have found it’s more difficult to sleep properly during a full moon. This can impact behavior, particularly in children and pets.


Carrots help vision

baby carrot
Credit: YelenaYemchuk

While carrots do include beta-carotene, which helps produce vitamin A, a key ingredient in a healthy, functioning eye, it’s not quite the super food we’ve been told it was. While vitamin A is useful for maintaining eye health, avoiding cataracts, and slightly improving night vision; it can NOT reverse deteriorated eyes, only help keep eye health high. This wives tale was actually created in World War 2 by British Intelligence in response to their highly successful night flight missions. They didn’t want to give up their secrets and instead said their success was because of their diet.

 Camels Store Water in their humps

Camel looking to camera.
Credit: Servet TURAN

Half true; The humps are actually reservoirs of fatty tissue or concentrated body fat. However, when the tissues are metabolized for energy, they yield more than 1 gram of water for each gram of fat used.


Chocolate Causes Acne

Credit: Naked King

Though some research has suggested that diets that lean heavily on foods with a lot of fat and sugar can lead to skin inflammation, which can make you more vulnerable to skin problems, but there is no direct relationship to chocolate.

It takes 7 years to digest Gum

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Getty Images

Nope, it breaks down like everything else; but, if you were eating a steady diet of gum it could maybe cause some constipation, but unlikely.

Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis

Credit: Top Photo Corporation

The sound that you’re hearing is just bubbles within your synovial fluid popping (that would be the stuff that lubricates your joints). Habitual knuckle cracking can lead to swelling in the hands, but the occasional crack won't ruin your life.

Stay tuned for more updates. As this 3 part series continues, I'll tackle and unravel our sayings and old wives tales about anything and everything. If you've heard any that you're unsure of or maybe I haven't heard, I'd love to see what I can dig up on them!

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