We all have them. We’ll never talk about them. We are ashamed to confess them. Yet, we’ll continue doing them every single day. Sometimes boldly, but mostly discreetly. That’s just how gross habits are. Once you start, it’s almost impossible to stop!
So, what if we told you that you don’t need to stop? That your apparently gross habits have some secret health benefits?
It’s time to shake yours (and everybody else’s) world! Here are 8 gross-but-good habits that you should think twice before quitting:
1. Golden Showers
To put it simply, peeing when you’re in the shower. As much as people may deny not doing this, the truth is that around 75% people have confessed to carrying out this ‘gross’ activity at least once in their entire lives (1)! And it’s okay. Peeing as you bathe can prevent you from getting toe fungal infections due to the presence of ammonia and uric acid in your urine. Besides, you also save on water and toilet paper this way!
Probably one of the most disgusting activities (especially when done public) is spitting. Although in normal circumstances we don’t advise it either, it might be beneficial post exercising. Spitting when you exercise can help ease breathing. Typically, we use our noses to breathe. However, while working out, we tend to use our mouth for the same purpose. This leads to increased saliva production, which can interrupt normal breathing (2). So, spit out when you work out.
3. Chewing Gum
It’s not the chewing of gum that’s disgusting. It is spitting it out and sticking it in odd places. Nonetheless, chewing gum also has its own benefits, even if it’s not considered to be particularly healthy. According to a study, chewing gum can increase your focus, improve your memory, lower your stress levels, and even bring about a balance in your hormones by increasing cortisol (3). This gives it an edge over coffee!
An obnoxious, smelly habit that’s more of an impulse to be precise, farting is good. Holding it in to save face is not. About 6 hours post every meal you have, your digestive tract begins to produce nitrogen and carbon dioxide (4). Farting helps in releasing these gasses, which if controlled can lead to bloating and tummy aches. Besides, humans release gas approximately 14 times every day on an average (which excludes the 3 to 5 times you fart when asleep) anyway, so why hold it in? Let it rip!
Burping is considered rude, but the point is it’s necessary. Burping helps in releasing excess air that may have entered your system, especially after eating a large meal (5). If you suppress your burps, you risk getting chest pain as the gasses produced stay in your stomach, transferring gastric acid to your gullet. That said, excess burping can be a problem and is a sign of acid reflux disease. In such cases, you should see a doctor.
6. Nail Biting
Many people bite their nails when they are nervous. This habit has been called out for being extremely unhealthy as you end up consuming bacteria, which can lead to stomach infections and the like. There’s a twist to this though. The bacteria that you consume triggers your immune system to produce more white blood cells in order to fight it. This means if the next time the same bacteria enters your body, your immune system will be fully armed to defeat it! Besides, certain studies have also pointed out that children who bite their nails or suck their thumbs are also less likely to get allergies (6).
7. Digging Your Nose And Eating The Snot
It won’t be surprising if we got the loudest “Eww! Gross!” at this one. This is really a disgusting habit but not without its upside. According to a particular study, eating your own boogers can improve your immune system. Snot is rich in salivary mucins, which help fight bacteria that causes cavities (7). Moreover, when eaten, they cause your immune system to produce more white blood cells, so it can fight against the bacteria in your boogers.
8. Skipping A Bath
Sometimes we all skip showers when we feel lazy. As it turns out, that’s actually a good thing. When you shower, your strip your body of its essential oils, which help in protecting it and keeping it hydrated. That is the case even if you just take a hot shower and don’t scrub your body with soap. Showers destroy healthy bacteria, which are vital for the proper functioning of your body (8). Moral of the story? If you want glowing, elastic, healthy skin, skip the shower – max a couple of times per week.
Some of these sound downright crazy, don’t they? Even if they do, they’ve been backed up by science! So, the next time someone calls you out for your gross habits, just show them this article!
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