Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Old Wives’ Tales: True or False?

Posted by M. C. on April 9, 2018

Story at-a-glance

  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is just one example of the many old wives’ tales that may influence your health
  • Given their popularity and the reality that some of them are pure myth, I recommend you always take time to check out the facts behind these timeless tales, especially the health-related ones
  • Separating medical fact from fiction is just one more way you can take control of your health
  • Regardless of what the old wives say, when it comes to taking care of your body, there is no substitute for eating well, exercising regularly and getting plenty of high-quality sleep; start today

    No. 1: An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

    Somewhat true.

  • Although you’ll want to keep a close eye on your total daily fructose intake, and most certainly avoid an all-fruit diet, eating whole fruit like apples can be beneficial to your health. While there is no guarantee eating an apple a day will eliminate your need to see a doctor occasionally, a study published in the journal Nature suggests apples are good for you for the following reasons: 3,4,5
    • Great source of antioxidants: Researchers from Cornell’s Food Science and Toxicology Department in Ithaca, New York, found the antioxidant properties of 100 grams (g) of fresh apple to be equal to 1,500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
    • High in fiber: One medium apple boasts about 4.4 g of fiber; fiber-rich diets promote good digestion and help you maintain a healthy weight
    • Natural cancer fighter: When treating cancer cells with 50 mg of apple-skin extracts, the Cornell scientists noted a 43 percent decrease in the growth of colon cancer cells and a 57 percent reduction in liver cancer cell growth.

      No. 2: Chicken Soup Will Cure Your Cold

      Somewhat true. Since there is no cure for the common cold and the biological basis for chicken soup’s effects has never been fully realized, some believe its benefits are primarily psychosomatic. Colds, because they involve a virus, must run their course, and they do so based on the health of your immune system. That said, while chicken soup may not cure your cold, it can help soothe some of the unpleasant side effects.

      In a study published in the journal Chest,7 a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, discovered both homemade and canned chicken soup possess anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce cold-related side effects like congestion. About the outcomes, they said:

      “The present study … suggests chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity. A mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one mechanism by which the soup could result in the mitigation of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections.”

      In lieu of canned varieties, try one of my favorite recipes for homemade bone broth — a soup that will nourish you from the inside out. The next time you prepare a pot of this delicious chicken soup, make a larger batch and freeze the leftovers. In doing so, you will always have some on hand when it’s needed, especially during cold and flu season…

Be seeing you



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