Fact vs. Fiction: 4 Cold Weather Health Myths Exposed
Brrr! Don’t let colder temperatures cloud your thinking. Are you guilty of buying into winter health myths?
Below we explore the truth behind four common old wives’ tales:
Myth #1: You don’t need sunscreen during winter.
The sun’s harmful UV rays still pass through winter clouds to damage your skin. If there is snow on the ground, then light reflected from the snow can increase your risk. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. If you are just spending a few minutes in the winter sun, then an SPF 15 product will work. Choose a higher SPF if you are spending more time in the sun and reapply every two hours.
Myth #2: Leaving the house with wet hair can make you sick.
There are so many variations on this myth, including the belief you can “catch cold,” or “catch a chill,” but this is an old wives’ tale. In reality there is no relationships to being cold and becoming ill. So if your morning routine involves showering and then stepping out into the winter weather, that’s perfectly fine – chilly maybe, but perfectly fine!
Myth #3: Homemade chicken soup cures colds.
Grandma is sort of right. While chicken soup is not proven to cure colds or flu, it can help to alleviate symptoms. The hot, steamy liquids can ease congestion and this healthy recipe is a great way to get protein and nutrients while ill. One scientist studying the effects of chicken soup on the flu believes that the soup slows down the body’s inflammatory response, and therefore prevents mucus buildup in the lungs!
Myth #4: You should feed a cold and starve a fever.
Wait a second, is it “feed a cold and starve a fever” or is it “starve a cold and feed a fever?” It doesn’t matter either way, because this axiom is not sound medical advice. If you are sick with a cold or the flu, then a balanced nutritional diet is in order. Make sure you are eating nutrient and mineral-rich foods, getting enough protein, and drinking plenty of clear fluids.
Which winter health myths keep you stumped? Share your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll be happy to respond!