Did you avoid your crusts as a kid because of a fear of curly hair? You needn’t have worried since that’s just an old wives tale we’ve since debunked. But not all those sayings are so easily ignored. Read on for 5 old wives tales that have some stock in them (and one you can ditch).
1. An apple a day keeps the Dr away
This one has been proven true more than once by scientific research. In 2012 an American study from Florida State University found that eating 2 apples per day for 6 months significantly cut down postmenopausal women’s cholesterol and risk of heart disease. And just last year a study from the University of Western Australia found that an apple a day could prolong adults life expectancy. They believe it is linked to the high levels of fibre which can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce cancer risk. The science is clear on this one, those old wives were onto something big.
2. Counting sheep to fall asleep
When you can’t get to sleep your usually cosy bedroom can feel more like a trap. But why is it that we count sheep? It’s less about the actual sheep and more about tricking your brain into sleep. The use of visualisation techniques and mental imagery can help distract you from stressful or anxious thoughts that are a common symptom of insomnia. You could count handbags if you prefer but the basic point is to focus all your mental energy on an image and rhythm such as counting.
3. Chocolate helps PMS cramps
Chocolate cravings during PMS are very common so we promise you’re not the only one overindulging on your living room sofa. There are a few competing opinions on this one but we prefer to believe it’s true! It might have more to do with physiology than marketing. Chocolate releases plenty of mood-boosting chemicals when consumed which may explain why you want it when your hormones have you feeling down. Plus some studies suggest it contains anandamide which is a fancy name for a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect and can keep moods and anxiety balanced. Excuse us while we go get some happy cocoa.
4. People are crazier on a full moon
Crazy people on a full moon isn’t proof that werewolves are real. This one is true due to the excess light caused when the moon is full. Too much light exposure confuses our bodies and can prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep. So it’s more likely an out of whack body clock and interrupted sleep are the secret.
5. Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight
This one is simple enough to understand: Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. But what makes it true? According to meteorology a red sky at night means high pressure and stable air in the atmosphere and these conditions spell good weather to come. A red sunrise could mean a high-pressure system (or good weather) on it’s way out to a low-pressure system (or storm) may be on the way. A deep fiery sunrise could indicate high water content in the atmosphere and thus, rain is coming.
Wondering about those crusts? The theory goes back to ye old Europe where a full head of curly hair was a sign of optimal health. In times of difficulty, bread was a luxury few could afford. If you did have it you definitely weren’t wasting any but if you didn’t the lack of nutrition could result in hair loss. And so it became known that eating your crusts would give you curly hair, or in other words good health.
Spread the word far and wide like the old wives of yesteryear because these tales have more than meets the eye.