Mom Was Right
Turns out there's some truth in her endless advice.
Remember when you were a teenager, completely certain that your mother didn’t know anything? Well, maybe she did. Here are four health rules that prove mom knew what she was talking about.
Your Ailment: "I feel like I’m coming down with something. I don’t want to get sick!"
Her Solution: "Drink some tea." She may have suggested tea because she knew it would warm you from within, but according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tea really can help you fight off illness. It contains substances called alkylamines that essentially are believed to teach your immune system to fight off disease.
Your Ailment: "My throat hurts."
Her Solution: "Try gargling with salt water." Turns out, salt water rinses are an age-old, natural method of clearing the throat of postnasal drip—the culprit for that scratchy and sore throat. The Mayo Clinic suggests dissolving ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Gargle (and spit out) by the gulp until the glass is gone for nearly instantaneous pain relief.
Your Ailment: "Ugh, I think I have the flu."
Her Solution: "Here’s a bowl of chicken soup." Even when you might not have felt like eating, Mom knew better. A bowl of chicken soup prepared with veggies and real chicken (read: not chicken-flavored soups) helps reduce the inflammation that causes a runny nose and congestion, says research from the University of Nebraska. Plus, the salty broth thins mucus. Part of the explanation may be that when chicken cooks, it releases the sinus-opening amino acid cysteine. Throw in some vegetables and healthy spices like garlic, and you have one punch-packed bowl. If you can’t make your own, have a friend or spouse pick some up from Panera Bread. It’s served daily.
Your Ailment: "I’m feeling blue."
Her Solution: "You need more sleep!" Not giving the body enough time to recharge its batteries affects your mood, energy level, and overall functioning, says the Mayo Clinic. When you sleep, your brain processes the events of the day and prepares you for the next. Missing this crucial time (or cutting it short) can leave you feeling anxious and distracted. Plus, research from Columbia University Medical Center shows that lack of sleep is a serious risk factor for depression among high school and college students. People in this age group should aim for nine hours per night—adults usually need between seven and eight hours.