Did your parents give you apples daily as it was said to keep the doctor away and yet you fell ill? And were you (actually all of us) instructed strictly not have ice cream during cold? All of us have unknowingly followed food myths since childhood. Most of them were carried down from generation to generation since eons. We blindly believed in them without actually finding out the reason behind such restrictions and advices. But over the years, scientists and food enthusiasts have researched and have found many of them to be pure myths that people have blindly followed and are still following. Most widely believed myths are:
- THE HEALTHY APPLE: No doubt the apple is an extremely beneficial fruit, but an apple alone isn’t enough to prevent us from diseases or ‘keep the doctor away’. It is loaded with fibers and vitamin C, which is not even 10% of the recommended daily intake. If there could be one fruit that could keep the doctor away, it definitely has to be the Indian gooseberry, whose Vitamin C content is equal to 20 oranges. One gooseberry is enough to fulfill the daily intake of Vitamin C.
- INFINITE HONEY: Many people suggest that we can eat as much as honey without bothering about any health issues. But, this is not the case. Honey contains high amounts of natural sugars which are still ‘sugars’ only. It has been found that eating too much honey over a long time increases blood sugar level, causes allergies or even leads to weight gain. It is wise to treat honey like a rich food because of its high sugar and calorie content and enjoy its benefits in a moderate level.
- ICE-CREAM HAZARD: Since childhood, having a cold meant a big NO to ice creams for at least a week. But this has been proved as a delighting myth! The low temperature of ice cream has negligible effect on the body temperature. It does not affect the body in any significant way. Not only ice creams but we are told to stay away from other milk products too as they are expected to induce more cough and irritate the sore throat. Researchers have proved that soups, milk and ice creams are actually soothing for sore throats and they provide with the necessary calories that we might lose due to illness.
- LINGERING GUM: It is a commonly propagated misconception that swallowed chewing gum lingers in our stomach for years. It is true that chewing gum which is made of natural or synthetic resin cannot be digested by our digestive system. It is hence passes out of the body along with the stool. Problem is caused when large amounts of gum get collected in the gut, causing blockage. It also happens when gum is swallowed along with inedible objects like pieces of toys or coins. In such cases it becomes hazardous and has to be removed using surgical methods. But apart from this, swallowing a small piece of gum mistakenly poses no health threats.
- EIGHT GLASSES FOR HYDRATION: We have been made to study and apply the rule of drinking eight glasses of water daily in order to remain healthy and hydrated. This is an extremely strange myth. The requirement of water differs from individual to individual. Keeping the body hydrated is extremely important but the ‘eight glasses of water’ theory does no justice to it. Most of the adults get a bulky amount of hydration through their frequent drinks or tea and coffee. Young playful children on the other hand might require much more than eight glasses. We also get our water requirements from the food we eat. The best idea is to drink water whenever we feel healthy and in any required quantity without counting on the glasses.
- GO RAW: Raw fruits and veggies have always been considered as a healthier option than the cooked ones because they are believed to retain their nutrients which are probably lost in cooking. Cooking food not only kills harmful bacteria, that might have been left behind even after washing, but also increases the nutrient content of food. Cooking also breaks down fiber and other complex compounds in the food, making them more easily digested. Besides, it also raises the antioxidant content of some vegetables like carrots and corn.
It is a wise idea to do some research on the ongoing food trends rather than following them blindly. This is the reason why people still believe in such food myths. Carelessness and unawareness related to health issues must be culminated in order to lead mankind to a healthy and myth free lifestyle.
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