Most of us have heard the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away , or that you should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. But how much truth is there to such old wives’ health tips?

Growing up hearing certain sayings and tips resulted in many of us believing that they’re all true. But certain common knowledge health tips are actually relative to each individual, while others are not true at all. For example, many of us as teenagers heard that chocolate was a cause of acne. And, in fact, this health tip continues to circulate among both teenagers and adults today.

However, the truth is that acne is not caused by any specific type of food, including chocolate. Acne is, in fact, beyond your biological control, as it’s linked to the levels of testosterone in your body. So, rather than foregoing chocolate to keep your skin clear, a more effective way to combat acne is to cleanse your skin regularly to clear bacteria, or to use specialized acne medications.

Another common health tip is that you should drink eight glasses of water a day. While this is an estimate for the average person, the truth is that bodies differ when it comes to water intake requirements, and depend on various factors such as health, how active you are and where you live.

You may ask yourself how much water should I drink every day and while there is no set rule as to how much water you should be drinking every day, there are a few ways to estimate what your own requirements are.

One way is to use the replacement approach . Adults typically lose 1.5 litres of fluid a day through urination, as well as an additional litre through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food, however, usually provides around 20 per cent of one’s total fluid intake. That said, if the average person consumes 2 litres of water per day, along with a normal diet, they should technically replace their lost fluids.

Another way to determine your water intake requirement is to take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. Whatever number you end up with is the number of ounces of water you should consume each day. Again, if you’re particularly active or live in a warmer region, your intake should technically increase for both estimation methods.

Among the most popular health tips out there is that an apple a day keeps the doctor away – a tip that’s only partially true. Apples are full of vitamin C and polyphones, and they promote healthy teeth and gums. However, the obvious truth is that apples alone won’t keep you from getting ill. Instead, your body requires a balanced diet to stay healthy.

Another health tip that’s only partially true is that carrots are good for eyesight. In fact, most people believe that carrots are the best food for maintaining and improving eyesight. However, while carrots are full of beta carotene and vitamin A – which are both good for vision – there are certainly foods that are even better for the eyes – such as spinach and other leafy greens.

Last but not least, you’ve likely heard the saying that you can never be too safe when it comes to looking after your health. Again, this is a tip that’s only partially true. While it’s not healthy to be obsessive with health measures such as keeping germs away, you do want to safeguard your health in good measure. One example of this is securing health insurance. Health insurance is just one way to protect yourself in the event that something does goes wrong, but it certainly won’t inhibit you from living your life.

So, next time you hear an old wives’ tale, take it with a grain of salt – then consider what’s right and best for you.

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