Whenever you catch someone sneakily “digging for gold”, most people’s immediate reaction is pure disgust and thinking “really? get a tissue!” That disgust multiplies when they bring that slimy finger full of the “goods” and slide it into their mouth. (eek..)
Despite our abhorrence, scientists from the American Society of Microbiology believe that the revolting habit of eating your boogers may actually be good for you and here’s why:
- Protects Your Teeth. Boogers carry salivary mucins that form blockades against cavity-causing bacteria.
- Immunity Booster. Nasal mucus has a “sugary taste” (perhaps to encourage sugar-loving children to eat it)! Mucus introduces pathogens which strengthens the body’s natural germ defense. In one study from BioMed Central, it showed that eating your mucus can strengthen your immunity and fight against HIV. They say it’s a “perfectly natural” thing to do.
- Happier? An Austrian lung specialist Fredrich Bischinger believes that nose-pickers are “healthier, happier, and better in tune with their bodies than others”.
The “Hygiene Hypothesis”
Perhaps one reason why we are so anti-nose picking is that we are becoming clean freaks! The “Hygiene Hypothesis” believes that some allergies and diseases have quadrupled recently due to raising children in environments without germs! We are so worried about germs that we’re trying to get rid of 99.9% of them but we may be doing more harm than good. Fighting germs kicks our natural disease-fighting antibodies into gear and strengthens them to fight other diseases in the future. So maybe we don’t need to panic every time a child eats something from the floor, eats some dirt or… eats their boogers?!
Unlike Bischinger, who believes we need to get rid of the negative social stigma and encourage nose picking, I still can’t 100% encourage this (and to be honest, it still grosses me out!) However, I’ll leave it to you. Let me know in the comments if you’ll be the next nose-picker on the block! #nojudgment