In breaking news: our mothers might have been wrong about our disgusting, dirty and gross hygiene habits…actually, our mothers can never be wrong. However, it does seem that being a little dirty might actually be a good thing. Most people believe it’s important to have good hygiene and be very clean. Researchers, scientists and professors are starting to discover that too clean is actually a bad thing. Being a little dirty and messy actually has many health benefits.
For centuries, we have made it our goal to destroy and eliminate all the evil germs and bacteria. We fear that the bacteria might spread and suddenly we have an epidemic on our hands that will eventually lead to a zombie apocalypse…okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. It’s possible that our fears might be a little wrong. New research has found that not all bacteria are evil. Good bacteria have many health benefits to building up a strong immune system, which will help the body fight off viruses, germs, infections and illness. Allowing in certain bacteria helps improve our moods and is beneficial to the digestive system. Here is a look at 10 disgusting hygiene habits that are actually good for you.
10) Sharing Food
Sharing is caring, but historically some people think it’s absolutely disgusting and gross to share food even with family. Of course, nobody likes to share anything with his or her siblings, especially ice cream. Well, it turns out that sharing food might actually be good for the human body. According to Stanford researchers, sharing saliva between healthy family members and friends can help build up a strong immune system. This will help the body fight off bacteria, germs and viruses. Obviously, it might not be a good idea to share food with a complete stranger but sharing with a friend or family member is both caring and healthy.
9) Drinking A Lot Of Coffee
Coffee has been linked with causing many health issues, such as, stunted growth, cancer, heart attacks and stinky breath…wait…one of those doesn’t belong. Coffee drinkers can feel a little bit better about the several cups of coffee they go through in a day. It’s not a proven fact that coffee causes heart attacks, cancer or any other health issues that it is often linked to. Coffee has many health benefits for the human body. Coffee contains antioxidants and chemicals that actually help with fighting off Type 2 Diabetes, liver cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Of course, too much coffee drinking and not enough water can lead to feelings of anxiety and dehydration. Although it’s okay to drink coffee, it’s also important to have a good balance.
8) Never Ever Using Hand Sanitizer
For some, good ol’ fashion soap and water just doesn’t get the job done. Hand sanitizer takes cleaning hands to the next level. Hand sanitizer wipes out germs and any germ that could possibly be related to it. However, a recent study from the Oxford Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases shows that hand sanitizer might be wiping out more than just germs. The study indicates that hand sanitizer and normal soap have similar results when it comes to fighting and stopping infections and germs. Most importantly, the sanitizer does eliminate germs, however it’s also wiping away all of the good bacteria that is needed. Researchers also believe that it might be adding to the problem of antibiotic resistance. So, for those that like plain soap, you have nothing to feel bad about…unless you’re just a liar and not washing your hands at all.
7) Cleaning The Kitchen Without Chemicals
It’s important to be clean and sober when cleaning a kitchen…oops, wrong kind of chemicals. Some might feel bad or even ashamed that they did a quick wipe down of their kitchen using just water. Well, it might actually be okay to use some basic cleaning and not using chemicals. A study from the University of Arkansas found that using water and a microfiber cloth is a good way to clean the kitchen. The microfiber cloth in particular is cited as being able to pick up both viruses and bacteria that could spread. The author of the study, Microbiologist Kristen Gibson, noted that there are situations where a “disinfectant” is a good idea to use, such as, someone being sick or handling raw meat.
6) Leaving Food Out
Leaving food out isn’t as bad as it may seem and actually has a few health benefits. Before the days of refrigeration, it was common for items like milk, vegetables and bread starter to be fermented. Physiological Anthropology released a study, which showed that when food is left out at home it becomes fermented as well. This increases nutrient in the food, gives a boost to the immune system and has mental health benefits. Leaving food out and exposing it to natural heat and the air will help it build strong bacteria to fight off germs and viruses. Of course certain foods, such as raw meat, must be properly handled and refrigerated.
5) Not Showering Everyday
Turns out that not showering everyday can actually be a good thing. Obviously, it’s important to shower after a workout, if you’re going to be in public or if you just plain need a shower. However, too much showering is actually very bad for the skin. According to dermatologist Dr. Nick Lowe, not everyone needs to be washing and showering thoroughly everyday. Soap and very hot water can wipe away the skin of its natural oils, which leads to infection, dryness and cracking. It’s recommended to either skip a shower or use cooler water. Also, washing your hair every day is not good for the hair. Washing your hair every day will damage the hair and strip it of important and essential oils.
4) Being Messy
Being messy and living like a “slob” has always been considered to be a bad thing. People are sometimes embarrassed and ashamed to let someone see their messy room. Parents and teachers are constantly hammering into kids’ heads that they can’t leave their toys lying around. Well, it turns out that being messy actually has some health benefits. A study released by Kingston University discovered that dust-mites have a difficult time surviving in an unmade and messy bed because it’s too dry and warm. This is great news for allergy suffers and bad news for neat freaks. It’s also been speculated that messy habits are linked to having better creative skills.
3) Forgetting To Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
Health class teaches students that it’s important to brush your teeth after every meal but for those that forget, there’s no need to feel guilty. According to the American Dental Association, brushing too much, too often and too intensely can end up irritating the gums and eroding enamel. The University of Chicago released a study in 2012, which found that brushing right after eating might make the dental damage worse. Sodas and other acidic food can stay on your teeth and eat away at the enamel. Brushing right after eating forces the acid deeper into the teeth. Researchers recommend waiting 30 to 60 minutes before brushing after eating a meal.
2) Hardcore Make Out Sessions With Your Dog
They have stinky breath, they smell their own butt and hump anything that moves. No, not last night’s date. Some people might think it’s gross to kiss a dog, especially on the lips. Most dogs love to kiss and never consider their own breath or what they just recently ate from underneath the sofa. For those that feel ashamed that the only make out session they had in the last year was with a bulldog named Bowser, there is no need to feel bad. It’s actually good to kiss and love your dog (besides the obvious reasons). The University of Arizona conducted a study, which found that doggie kisses could actually be very helpful to the human body. In this case, the dog functions as a probiotic and builds healthy bacteria colonies in the dog’s human owner. Also, a study from Berkeley discovered that petting a dog decreases blood pressure and stress.
1) Eating Dirt
The next time you’re in an argument and somebody tells you to “eat dirt”, don’t be so offended; it’s actually some good advice. Apparently, eating dirt isn’t as bad as one might imagine. Researchers are hoping that the stereotype around dirt will change and it won’t be viewed as being gross and well…dirty. Cornell University conducted a research, which showed that the soil from a vegetable garden is as good as the vegetables it grows. Eating soil or geophagy as it is also known, helps protect the stomach from parasites, pathogens and toxins. Researchers hope that people will finally see the benefits of eating soil.