10 Favorite Summer Health Myths & Truths

Summer. It's a wonderful time of year. You're finally able to get out into your garden, swim in the pool, and take the kids to the park without worrying you'll be slip-sliding on ice or getting beaned in the face with a snowball.

But there are a lot of health myths that come with summertime -- and plenty of truths too. Here are some common ones you've probably come across ...


1) Truth: Summer fruits and vegetables are good for you. Summertime brings fresh veggies and fresh fruit, which can usually be found at the local farmer's market. These fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients to help increase immune function and fertility, and can protect the skin from the sun.

2) Myth: You have to wait an hour after eating to swim or you might drown. While it's true that the gut requires more circulation of blood to digest food, the notion that the blood supply to the gut is such that you will get severe cramps and die is simply not true.

More from The Stir: Go Ahead & Eat Before You Swim -- Yes, Seriously!

3) Truth: You'll get more vitamin D in the summertime. While the weather is warm and sunny, it's easy for us to absorb and replenish our body's store of Vitamin D, which helps to boost immune system function, keeps our bones strong and sturdy, and improves our mood.

4) Myth: If you get stung by a jellyfish, the best way to treat it is to have someone pee on it. Even I was surprised to learn that this is not the proper remedy for a jellyfish sting. Apparently, urine doesn't relieve the pain from the jellyfish sting, and it can actually agitate the stingers of the jellyfish, releasing more venom and causing more pain. Instead, soak the area in saltwater or use a small amount of vinegar (like you have THAT handy at the beach).

5) Truth: There are a lot more chances to get outside and be active in the summertime. The sunny, warm weather is the perfect motivator to get us up, out, and moving -- and that's a good thing for our overall well-being. Exercise lowers stress, releases endorphins, and improves our health.

6) Myth: Sunburns will turn into tanned skin. A sunburn actually causes inflammation, as well as sensitive and dry skin, not a tan.

7) Truth: Fresh air is abundant in the summertime. With warm temperatures, we're more likely to open up the house and let fresh air inside or go outside and breathe it in, which is good for our overall health.

8) Myth: Only pale or fair-skinned people sunburn. Certainly people with darker skin have greater amounts of melatonin in their bodies, but no one is immune to the damage the sun can cause.

9) Truth: Sweat is a natural way to detox. During the hot summer months, there's no better way to detoxify our bodies than by sweating it out. And the nice thing is, it's easy to break a sweat simply by walking around in the summertime.

10) Myth: Use Vaseline or butter to soothe a sunburn. Unfortunately, those oils will increase the risk for infection of the burned area. Instead, soak the burn in a cool - but NOT cold - bath, then put antibiotic ointment and a bandage on the burn.

What else do you know about summertime health myths and truths?


Image via kevin dooley/Flickr

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