Your grandmother was right about many things, even though it’s taken science years to provide the proof. Granted, you don’t “loose a tooth for every baby,” but researchers have now verified that some old wives’ tales, such as “fish is brain food” and “carrots are good for your eyes,” are worthy advice. Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and author of Eat Your Way to Happiness told us more.
Wives’ Tale #1: Fish is Brain Food
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring, are rich sources of the omega-3 fats, especially DHA, which improves thinking, reaction times, memory, and possibly even lowers Alzheimer’s risk by up to 70%. You need at least 2 servings weekly, or at least 220mg of DHA daily. If you don’t like fish or are vegetarian, look for foods fortified with DHA or take a supplement. This fat is so important for brain health that even children should be supplementing if they don’t eat fatty fish regularly!
Wives’ Tale #2: An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Recent studies have suggested that the high levels of phenolics contained in apples work as potent antioxidants to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. In addition, a study from Cornell University suggests that apples also may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, and another recent study from the U of Iowa found that a compound in apple peel, called ursolic acid, helps keep muscles strong as we age. Very likely these compounds lower inflammation, which then reduces the risk for all kinds of chronic diseases. Keep in mind, of course, that a diet packed with a variety of colorful produce is the best insurance against diseases and weight gain down the road. Aim for no less than 9 servings of a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables daily.
Wives’ Tale #3: Carrots Improve Your Vision
Though our ancestors didn’t know it at the time, we now know that carrots are high in the building block for vitamin A - beta carotene. This vitamin is essential for vision, and a deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness. Though this old wives’ tale focuses on carrots, spinach and other leafy greens also are excellent sources of beta carotene, as well as other vision-boosting nutrients not found in carrots, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. And now you can eat these greens with even more confidence when they are rinsed with Fresh Rinse, a brand new rinse that kills pathogens 1 million times better than previous rinses. Look for its logo on the bag of lettuce.
Wives’ Tale #4: Turkey and/or Warm Milk Help You Sleep Like a Baby
This is a half truth. We've all heard about how tryptophan, a protein fragment found in turkey and milk, can make you sleepy. But this is a great way to show you how you really ARE what you eat: it's the turkey you ate YESTERDAY that will help you sleep better TONIGHT. Eat an all-carb snack before bedtime, such as air-popped popcorn or a half whole-grain English muffin with jam, and the tryptophan floating around in your system from that turkey burger you ate the day before will be funneled into your brain and made into serotonin, that feel-good and get-sleepy brain chemical. The reason why warm milk makes some people sleepy, is not because of its tryptophan, but because warm beverages at bedtime slightly raise your body temperature, sort of like an internal warm bath, which relaxes and makes you sleepy.
Wives’ Tale #5: Chicken Soup Is Good for the Soul
Studies show that chicken soup helps mitigate the inflammatory response associated with colds and other upper-respiratory infections. Both the vegetables and chicken in soup individually reduce inflammation and curb cold symptoms. Besides, there is nothing better for a woman’s soul than weight loss, and studies show that people who eat broth-based soups consume fewer calories, yet feel just as full, so have an easier time losing weight and maintaining the weight loss.
Wives’ Tale #6: Tomatoes Are an Aphrodisiac
Italians didn’t get the reputation for being some of the world’s best lovers for nothing! Their tomato-rich diet is loaded with a compound called lycopene that has been proven to lower prostate cancer risk. However, tomatoes are not the only, or even the best, source of lycopene. Actually, cup for cup, watermelon has more lycopene than tomatoes.