The Health Benefits of Food and Drink: Science Versus Superstition

The Health Benefits of Food and Drink: Science Versus Superstition
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It’s no surprise that certain foods or drinks end up labelled as a miracle cure for all of life’s ills. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to imagine that with one simple act – like eating a daily dose of avocado – you could cure your every ailment and keep your body working at its best? Unfortunately, lots of the superfoods we cling to are not so super at all.

They’re very rarely bad for us, but the danger of falling for such myths is that we cut out things we need in favour of those we’re already getting enough of. So, heard about the latest food fad and wondering whether it could work for you? Here are just a few of the most popular myths debunked, plus some the science supports!

Coffee increases metabolism: false

When dieting, nothing seems more attractive than a miracle weight loss aid that does all the hard work for you. Maybe that’s why this myth is so pervasive, but unfortunately it just isn’t true. Although research shows the number of fatty acids in your blood does increase along with caffeine intake, the actual burning of fat doesn’t. That said, coffee can be a performance enhancer, so drink some down before your workout – you might burn some extra calories as a result.

Blueberries can boost your immune system: true

Coffee might not be able to slim you down, but blueberries can play a proactive role in boosting your health. High in antioxidants, they help protect cells and safeguard against disease. This means that by incorporating them into your diet, you can give your tired and overworked immune system some much-needed support.

Drinking fruit juice is just as good as eating fruit: false

We know that not everyone loves fruit and veg, which is probably the driving force behind this myth. Unfortunately, it isn’t true: the whole fruit provides a far greater range of nutritional benefits calorie for calorie. That’s because, by liquefying fruit, throwing away the peel and getting rid of the pulp, you lose calcium, fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. Not only this, but you make the sugar more potent, causing a spike in your blood that leaves your sweet tooth craving its next hit.

Carrots are good for your eyesight: true 

Source: Pixabay

To clarify, carrots in and of themselves cannot give you all-seeing superpowers. But they do contain a large amount of vitamin A, really important for maintaining optimal eye health. Although they won’t stop you from needing eye protection such as sunglasses, or eye healthcare such as contact lenses, they might just help to prevent deterioration. Of course, your best bet is still to find a good optometrist. This needn’t be overly expensive and there are lots of places on the internet that will allow you to order your contacts without prescription. A quick Google search for ‘order lenses onlin’ or ‘no RX’ will usually help reveal them and you can even carry it out with a carrot in hand!

The simplest and most successful way to be proactive in promoting good health is by eating the right things, but a balanced diet, regular exercise and a positive mental attitude are key. Focus on these – not the bogus myths! – to get the results you’re looking for.


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