12 "Healthy Habits" You're Better Off Giving Up

Research shows we get more than enough vitamins from what we eat, so there's no need for pills. Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

 

Ear Candling

The practice of ear candling — yes, ear candling — involves putting a lit, cone-shaped candle inside your ear. People who do it say it's helpful for relieving earwax and treating some infections. According to the Mayo Clinic, not so much.

"Research shows," they write, "that ear candling is ineffective at removing earwax and is also not an effective treatment for any other conditions." Plus, the practice can end up pushing earwax deeper into your ear. Even worse, you can burn your face, hair, scalp, or ear. So don't.

 

Avoiding The Microwave

We've all heard the rumors about how "nuking" foods robs them of their nutrients. Fortunately for most of us, this is entirely false. Microwave ovens cook food using energy waves. The waves cause the molecules in food to vibrate quickly, building up their energy as heat. 

Of course, some nutrients begin to disintegrate when heated, whether it's from a microwave, a stove, or something else. But since microwave-cooking times are typically much shorter than oven-cooking times, microwaving something often does a better job of keeping its vitamins intact than other cooking methods. 

 

Applying Hand Sanitizer

If you wash your hands regularly throughout the day, hand sanitizer is almost entirely unnecessary. Plus, it can't kill all the germs that plain old soap and water can.

Norovirus and C. difficile, for example, are immune to sanitizing gels.

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