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Food Myths and Facts That You Must Know…

Food plays an important and most inevitable part in our life. Food is essential for growth and gives us energy which is needed to do our daily activities. Over the years, we follow a certain pattern in our food intake. This pattern is affected by the food habits and tradition that we follow from our childhood. Our food habits are developed from our childhood, that has been passed to us by the elders and it continues till adulthood. However, there are certain habits and taboos that have risen which can restrict intake of certain foods during various conditions of our life. These restrictions or misconceptions can lower the quality of the food that we take every day thus affecting our health. Here are some common food myths and facts.

Hot And Cold Food Myths and Facts

Food myths and facts

First Take a Look at Hot and Cold foods

The concept of hot and cold foods has been prevalent in our culture since time immemorial. This discrimination of foods occurs not only in Asia but also in various other parts of the world by all the sectors of the society. The hot and cold effects of foods are also used to treat certain ailments, classify the herbs, medicines etc.

Here are some hot food myths and facts.

Myths About Hot Foods

  • Wheat, jaggery, mangoes, papaya, jackfruits, meat, fish, eggs and other spices are considered as hot foods and should be eaten particularly during the winter and rainy season.
  • Hot foods can cause pimples, allergies, early maturity in girls and difficulty in digestion.

Facts About Hot Foods

  • Wheat and jaggery are carbohydrates that supply fuel for body activity. Jaggery is considered as the storehouse of nutrients which is rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
  • Animal foods like meat, fish and eggs are rich in proteins that help to build and repair the body tissues.
  • Eggs along with fruits like papaya and mangoes provide Vitamin A that helps to resist infection and improves eyesight. Avoiding these foods can lead to depletion of important nutrients that can affect the health.

Have a look at cold food myths and facts.

Myths About Cold Foods

  • Rice, curd, buttermilk and juicy fruits like watermelon, grapes, pomegranate etc… are cold foods which are preferred to be appropriate during the summer seasons.
  • Cold foods can cause cold or a cough, chest congestion, and sore throat when eaten in abundance

Facts About Cold Foods

1. Facts About Butter Milk

Buttermilk and curds are equally beneficial and none should be taken in excess or deficit. Buttermilk is easily digestible and contains low-fat content, hence it can also be taken during night time.

2. Facts About Curd or Yogurt

Yogurt does not cause cold, but it helps to improve the digestive system and help to strengthen the immune system. Always have curd which is stored at room temperature rather than taking it directly from the refrigerator. But if you still have a cold, try having buttermilk instead of curd.

3. Facts About Rice

One can eat rice everyday, according to one’s weight. The reason of offering a meal of rice and dal, khichdi or curd rice when someone falls sick is because rice is easy to digest and light. Brown rice is more beneficial as it is high in Vitamin B and fiber than white rice.

4. Facts About Juicy Fruit like Watermelon, Grapes etc…

Prefer a wide variety of seasonal fruits that help to maintain the nutritional quality by providing a good amount of vitamins and minerals.

Where fruits like watermelon with its refreshing juice and the huge supply of water that helps to compensate the losses caused due to heat are eaten in summer, fruits like oranges, grapes, pomegranate, and bananas are rich in vitamins and fibre and are eaten during winters that help to perk up the immune system during winter.

5. Facts About Oranges

A simple example of restriction of the intake of oranges during a common cold is practiced.This doesn’t hold the truth. On the contrary, oranges are rich in Vitamin C that helps us to improve the immune system of our body.
The concept of hot and cold effects of food does not always seem to fit according to the nutritional point of view. However, this concept has been so well rooted in the minds of people that it can cause a hindrance while following the practice of good food habits.

Hence, it is essential to have a proper balanced diet and not fall into any misconceptions that can restrict the intake of certain foods thus affecting the quality of life.

Anita Varier

Mrs. Anita Varier is a Post Graduate in Home Science with specialization in Food Science and Nutrition from S.N.D.T Women's University, Mumbai. She cleared her NET(Lecturership) exam in 2004 and taught students at Post Graduate level.

Some of her works have been published in dietitic journals and websites, the most notable being "Blending of edible oils to achieve nutritionally favorable fatty acid ratios" in Journal of Oil Technologists' Association of India. She is an avid reader and shows immense interest in the field of art like dance and music.

3 comments

  • An interesting and timely write-up. Is there any seasonal preference for particular fruits and particular foods items?

    May be, something could be highlighted about the possible pesticide content of fruits etc available in the market these days. That will be greatly useful to the reader.

  • Thank you. It is always effective , economical and healthy to have seasonal foods rather than having non seasonal foods that have many additives for better shelf life. Where we should prefer watermelon, musk melon , cucumber during summer to compensate for the fluid losses, we should pick up oranges, grapes, carrots and green peas which will enhance our immune system during winters.
    We will try our best to touch upon the topic on pesticide content in fruits.

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