We all think we know a good wives tale when we hear one, but did you know a lot of the advice we’re given about winter colds and flu are actually myths?
Even medical professionals buy into some of these, so keep your wits about you and read on to find out which recommendations are, in fact, a complete fiction…
- Vitamin C Does Not Stop You From Getting a Cold. You can eat all the oranges and pop as many vit C tabs as you like, but when it comes to starving off winter bugs there’s no medical evidence to support the claim that vitamin C is the ultimate weapon against getting the flu. However, if you are already sick, it may help you get better slightly quicker.
- Echinacea is no Miracle Supplement. There’s no conclusive evidence that taking Echinacea will help your immunity to colds or flu, or help you get out of it quicker. Save your money and just take a good all-round multivitamin instead.
- Exercise is Not the Cure to Everything. Although regular moderate exercise can mean you’re less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection (RTI), extreme exercise – for example marathon running– can actually increase the likelihood of you getting RTI. It’s not quite an excuse to skip the gym, but maybe you can feel a little better about lazing on the sofa.
- Don’t bother Starving a Fever or Feeding a Cold. Eating nothing or everything is not going to make you feel better – it’ll just make you hungry or pukey. When you’re sick you should simply aim to eat a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and adequate calories – so bring on the chicken soup.
- Dressing Warmly Won’t Stop You from Catching a Cold. Colds are viruses, so unless you’re wearing a balaclava over your nose and mouth, you’re still perfectly susceptible to them. Getting cold won’t give you a cold, but you may well get hypothermia.
- Medicating a Cold has no Effect on the Duration of the Illness. It doesn’t matter how much you cough and sneeze, it won’t help you get the illness out quicker – in fact, it’s better to take medication to lessen the symptoms as it’ll help contain the virus.
- Avoiding Dairy Won’t Make You any Less Snotty. Take solace in the fact that you can eat just as much ice cream as you like to soothe that sore throat, as there’s no evidence to support the claim that dairy increases mucous or phlegm.
- Kissing Won’t Pass Your Cold on. The amount of viruses on your mouth and lips are at lower levels than you’d need to infect someone, so even if you’re not feeling that sexy you can still pull as many people as you like, safe in the knowledge that you won’t infect them. Just don’t sneeze on them.
So, as it turns out, much of getting a cold is simply about (bad) luck. You can eat what you like, kiss who you want and douse everything in antibacterial cleaner even after the office cleaning company London have been and gone – there’s no escaping those winter illnesses!
- License: Creative Commons image source
Susannah Perez is a winter-phobe who wishes it was acceptable for humans to hibernate. She likes to stay in her flat and blog for EvoCleaning to avoid going outside from October to March.