Consejos de Mamá

“¿Y los zapatos?” This was a constant question in my house from my dad. “Te digo, ponte los zapatos. Sé que los tienes por allí.”  

I walked around our house barefoot all the time and they always warned me against it, for various reasons; your feet would get dirty and gross; the floor is cold; and then there’s the chance that you’d pick something up or hurt yourself.

My childhood was full of warnings from both my parents, my grandma and my aunts. They were preventive measures, at least, that’s how I saw them. My cousins would always argue about the rationale, but as I got older, there were just some things that made sense to me and do (or don’t) until this very day. And here’s what the research may have to say (or not) about some of these.

Here are a few popular ones we’ve heard over the years:

  • No comas plátanos antes de dormir: I always wondered about this as a kid, to the point where I’d eat bananas to see if anything would happen to me. My mom said I’d have nightmares, my grandma just said they were too heavy to have in your stomach at night. Bananas have a lot of different nutrients that help with everything from leg cramps to brain power, and also give you a boost of energy because of the types of sugars they contain. They’re one of the leading fruits eaten by athletes for this reason. I never had nightmares because of them, but maybe they were just more worried that I wouldn’t fall asleep because of the energy boost.
  • No te duermas con el pelo mojado: I used to braid my hair when it was wet, sleep with it and let my waves flow in the morning, regardless of how many times my grandmother warned me against it. “Te va salir granitos,” she’d say. Lo and behold, one time it did happen. The moisture from your wet hair on the pillow can make for a great bacterial breeding ground. And thinking about it, if you sleep on your back, the moisture and heat allows for a rash to form on your head (consider a baby’s wet diaper). Not only does this produce an itchy scalp, but it can also cause dandruff. Again, the science isn’t necessarily there to back it up, however they are pieces of advice for a reason.
  • No dejes que el aire te pega la esapalda: The draft was always something my mother and grandmother warned me about. Don’t sit in front of an open door. Don’t sit in front of the air conditioner. The warning here was that you’d get a back ache or a cough. There is still no medical research to negate or confirm these teachings, but cold air anywhere on your body just doesn’t sound like a pleasant idea.
  • Sécate el cabello antes de salir para fuera: Especially if it’s cold outside. To this day, if my hair is wet and I go outside, my mother makes a point to tell me that my hair is wet. My father expressively asks, “¿No te secaste el cabello?” “No, pa, I didn’t,” I always respond. The theory is that you’re going to get sick if you go outside in the cool or cold air with wet hair. Why?

My cousins argued the fact that sickness is developed by a “bug” or virus. This is very true. This is also the reason why you don’t always get sick even if you choose to be a rebel. However, there have been times when I developed a sore throat and cold because of it. And here’s the reason why.

Researchers explained that it has to do with your nose, not the rest of your body. In a UK study, doctors tied people becoming chilled to the constriction of blood vessels in the nose which provide a first line of defense to things like the common cold virus.

What kind of consejos did you get from your parents? Are they listed here? If not, share with us in the comments below and we will do the research to discover the truth behind your consejo de mamá and publish in a future blog post!

Sources: Catching a cold with wet hair: http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/11/14/cold.chill/index.htmlhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16286463 

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