As you can imagine, there are many old wives’ tales that are not true; however, there are some that are true and worth taking note of! Believe it or not, your mother was right to tell you to eat your carrots and apples!
1) An apple a day
One of my favourite old wives’ tales is, “an apple a day will keep the doctor away”. Since it is my favourite old wives’ tale, I was happy to learn that there is some truth to eating an apple every day for health. Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fibre that lowers blood pressure levels, glucose levels, and LDL cholesterol levels. Apples are also a great source of boron, which is needed for strong bones, and they have quercetin, a flavonoid that decreases the risk of various cancers. The mighty apple even helps clean teeth and kill bacteria in the mouth. Because of all of these health promoting properties, eating an apple a day can help you stay healthy.
2) Vitamin C is good for colds
The concept of taking Vitamin C for colds was popularized by Linus Pauling’s book, “Vitamin C and the Common Cold”. In the book, Pauling claimed that mega doses of Vitamin C would cure the common cold. The problem with his claim was he didn’t have any research to support his theory. However, in 2007 a meta-analysis demonstrated that taking 200 milligrams of Vitamin C every day can shorten the duration of a cold and decrease the number of times a person gets a cold. Clearly, Vitamin C can help a person fight colds. It may not be the cure, but it certainly helps.
3) Thumb sucking ruins teeth
While it is fine for babies and small children to suck their thumbs, it can cause problems once adult teeth start coming in. Children who suck their thumbs when their permanent teeth come in risk causing dental problems such as improper tooth alignment and improper development of the mouth.
4) Carrots improve eyesight
While carrots don’t directly improve eyesight, this is one of the old wives’ tales is true because carrots can correct eye sight problems caused by a Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is needed for photoreceptor cells in the eyes to capture light allowing vision. As an excellent source of beta carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, carrots will help correct a Vitamin A deficiency that can cause eyesight problems.
5) Cranberry Juice for urinary tract health
Have you ever been told to drink cranberry juice for a bladder infection? Although it seems unlikely, cranberry juice can actually effectively treat a bladder infection. E-coli is the bacteria that causes bladder infections, and cranberry juice prevents the e-coli from sticking to the walls of the bladder. This means that the infection can be flushed out. For people susceptible to bladder infections, drinking cranberry juice can decrease recurrence by 35 percent. The only caveat to drinking cranberry juice for bladder infections, is it has to be unsweetened, 100 percent cranberry juice, which is very tart.