Five Myths About Food and Health
Myth 1: Orange Juice will Ward Off a Cold
A glass a day or a mega supplement of Vitamin C won’t keep a cold or virus at bay. A review of 30 studies found that taking 200mg or more of Vitamin C didn’t prevent colds in most people. If you do gel slammed however, C may shorten the duration of your symptoms a little. While it’s not a magic bullet C it does play a role in helping your immune system. Aim for between 75 and 90mg a day – which is about as much as you’ll find in an orange, a cup of broccoli, or a cup of sliced strawberries. Drinking plenty of fluids will also go a long way and get some extra sleep.
Myth 2: Cranberry Juice will Help a UTI
You may be a fan but plain old water is better. a JAMA study found that women with recurring UTI’s who drank and additional 1.5L of water daily were less likely to get another one. Limited evidence suggests that taking 500mg of cranberry per day in a capsule form may reduce the risk – perhaps because of the larger concentration of A-type proanthocyanidins may help prevent bacteria from sticking to urinary tract walls (yuck) – BUT – if you think it’s a UTI – go to the doctor and get antibiotics. An untreated UTI can lead to eventual kidney damage.
Myth 3: Pasta and Bread give you Brain Fog
Unless you have an allergy or intolerance to gluten or wheat (which is diagnosed by a doctor) for most people it’s eating too few carbs that can leave them feeling sleepy and unfocused (both signs of low blood sugar). The starches and sugars in carbs are the body and brain’s main source of fuel. To feel your sharpest go for whole-grain, whole-food-based carbs (like whole wheat pasta, oats or beans, fruits and veggies) as they offer fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals and antidioxidants. Processed breads, cereals and desserts can spike you blood sugar and leave you tired and foggy when you crash.
Myth 4: Dairy makes you Mucus-y
No way. Studies have proven that drinking milk has ZERO effect on your mucus production. Unless you have an allergy to or an intolerance to dairy (lactose) there’s no reason to skip the ice cream. Fight phlegm with lots of water, sleep and a cool-mist humidifier. But – let’s be clear – most commercial milks and milk based products aren’t all that good for you generally – or good for your brain. Try Almond milk and oat based ice creams instead.
Myth 5: Apple Cider Vinegar Prevents Cancer
There’s no evidence. Period. How About This: Eat the foods that are associated with reducing the risk of cancer. Veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean organic proteins are the way to go.