We’ve all come across some forms of “miraculous health tips” right from our childhood. Some of them are based on individual experiences, while others spawned from marketing campaigns and even scientific studies that got misrepresented. However, separating fact from fiction is key.
Here are 10 common myths about health and the facts behind them:
1. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”
It’s a false statement. A study conducted by the University of Michigan School of Nursing found that the claim lacks enough evidence. Researchers said apple consumption on a daily basis had no statistical significance in reducing pharmacy visits, except that it helped cut down on regular use of prescription medication.
2. “Drinking chicken soup can cure cold and flu”
It’s true. Drinking chicken soup is a trusted method of fighting the common cold and flu. Chicken has minerals like zinc, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which seep into the liquid during the cooking process, while an added dose of minerals is received from the veggies. Drinking a bowlful of hot chicken soup can clear stuffy noses. Furthermore, a study published in the peer-reviewed journal CHEST suggests that chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory properties that could ease the symptoms of respiratory tract infections.
3. “Garlic under the pillow aids in sleep”
This is false. It’s believed garlic can unclog the nasal passage when you have the flu, but there isn’t enough scientific evidence to conclusively say this. Even though garlic is rich in magnesium and potassium – both are important components of promoting good sleep – one can’t still blindly believe placing the garlic under the pillow alone will promote restful sleep, according to Trip to Sleep.
4. “Oysters are aphrodisiacs”
It is a controversial claim. As per a Medical News Today report, oysters contain nutrients such as zinc that play a role in enhancing one’s sexual performance but whether or not it improves libido is still a point of debate.
5. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”
Both true and false. Skipping breakfast isn’t a wise idea as it benefits the body in more than one way, such as providing energy, improving heart health, lowering diabetes risk and reducing brain fog. However, it’s not typically harmful as its effects vary from person to person. Planning ahead and eating protein-rich foods like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruits, nuts or whole-grain cereal can help keep a person fuller for a longer time and keep unwanted weight gain at bay, according to a report by Cleveland Clinic.
6. “Cheese gives you bad dreams”
It’s partly true. A Canadian study in 2015, which was conducted on 39 people, found that half of the participants said they had disturbing dreams after eating certain foods, particularly dairy-made. But there is no concrete evidence to say cheese really gives you nightmares.
7. “Going out with wet hair gives you a cold”
False. Family medicine specialist Dr. Matthew Goldman told Cleveland Clinic that going outside with wet hair doesn’t cause flu symptoms. Colder temperatures in winter months can weaken the immune system, making it easier to catch a cold. Moist hair sort of adds to it because it provides a suitable setting for bacteria and fungi to grow.
8. “Carrots help you see in the dark”
It’s true. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene that can get the body to self-produce vitamin A, which is vital for eyesight. Problems like night blindness, age-related vision loss or myopia can be reversed by eating carrots. However, a range of other items such as yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables, as well as green leafy vegetables, also have beta-carotene that can compensate for the vitamin A deficiency in the body, according to Health.mil.
9. “Turmeric helps prevent heart disease”
This claim is false. Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, which is a natural compound (polyphenol) that has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has properties to work against free radical damage and cell damage. However, one can’t say that turmeric is a fail-safe remedy for cardiac events.
“Turmeric can’t necessarily prevent heart disease. However, the spice could theoretically help prevent heart attacks,” Dr. Ronald Cotterel, a family medicine specialist with the Sutter Medical Group, told Tech Times. “The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and it’s used as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and has some action as an antiplatelet agent that can slow blood clotting, in a similar but more gentle way than aspirin.”
10. “Cinnamon helps balance hormones”
It’s true. Cinnamon has excellent properties to cure hormonal imbalances. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help with weight loss, premenstrual syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Having a spoonful of cinnamon can be beneficial for your hormonal health.
Published by Medicaldaily.com