If you've been looking for something to justify all your "gross" habits, we've got it for you! Bustle put together this list of surprising habits that are actually good for your health, no matter how out-there they may seem. Check out some of our favorites below! Click here to see the full list!
- Eating Your Own Boogers - Most people won't admit to picking and eating their own boogers, but it's time to stop being ashamed — this can actually help prevent you from getting sick. Multiple studies show that booger picking and eating can strengthen your immune system. A study from the American Society of Microbiology found that components found in your boogers can help form a protective layer against the bacteria that causes cavities. Another study in Virology Journal also found that the immune-support offered from eating your boogers may help fight against HIV. Cringe, but also interesting?
- Cursing - Having a potty mouth is considered not the best habit by many, but according to science, you should curse away. According to research from Keele University School of Psychology, swearing can help lessen pain, and possibly increase our tolerance to it. As long as you're swearing the right away — AKA not yelling angrily at another person — your potty mouth can help you feel better all around.
- Biting Your Nails - Even though your parents probably nagged you incessantly about your bad nail-biting habit, it might not be the worst thing after all. Research published in the journal Pediatrics found nail biting can help boost people's immunity. They found that kids who nibbled their nails were less likely to get allergies and had stronger immune systems overall.
- Touching Dirt - When your hands have been in the dirt, you may rush to wash them with antibacterial soap, but touching dirt is good for your gut health. "The soil-based organisms that are found in dirt support your immune response and microbiome," says Dr. Axe. "These good bacteria help to crowd out harmful pathogens and fight off bad bacteria that bind to or puncture your gut wall."
- Hocking Loogies - Coughing and “hocking up loogies” is usually a sign that there’s something going on with your respiratory system. Although you may be hesitant to relieve your cough because it may not sound the best, it’s actually a common and preventive reflex. "When you hock a loogie, you’re helping to clear irritants that are in your airways," says Dr. Axe. "This in turn helps to prevent infections that would be caused by the foreign pathogens in your windpipe or lungs."
- Slacking With Dishwashing - If you don't own a dishwasher and find that your dishes aren't squeaky clean, that's OK. Research out of Sweden found that kids raised in homes with hand-washed dishes were significantly less likely to develop eczema and also enjoyed a lower risk of developing allergic asthma and hay fever compared to kids raised in homes with dishwashers. "This is more evidence to support the hygiene hypothesis, a theory that suggests we're over-sanitized and not being exposed to enough germs to build a healthy immune system," says Dr. Axe.