Poking your nose is previously considered to be disgusting, unhygienic and dangerous as it can tear the skin inside your nostrils. But a study, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, concluded that eating boogies has health benefits, including preventing cavities and dodging infection such as HIV.

The study was conducted by researchers from various universities, including Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). According to the researchers, the mucus is composed of mucins that protect your teeth from common oral diseases. The mucins protect the surfaces of your teeth and prevent the formation of cavities.

Telegraph noted that the findings of the study even suggest that your mucus could also strengthen the immune system, by defending it against respiratory infections, stomach ulcers and HIV.

"Nature pushes us to do different things because it is to our advantage to have certain behaviours, to consume different types of foods," said co-author Dr. Scott Napper, professor of biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. "So maybe when you have an urge to pick your nose and eat it, you should just go with nature."

Napper said that humans evolved from very dirty conditions, so keeping our environment clean could not be benefitial for our health.  Given the findings, the researchers are looking at producing synthetic mucus to chewing gum or toothpaste, Miami Herald reported.

The formal medical term used to describe the act of picking one's nose is "rhinotillexomania." According to BBC,  there is such thing as chronic nose picking, citing that a 53-year-old woman's chronic nose picking habit had torn her nasal septum, resulting to carving a hole into her sinus. There are people who become addicted to nose picking to the point that their nose would become inflamed.

The behavior is sometimes thought of as an "obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder."