Now that we have busted a basketful of vegetable myths, this final entry, as part of our series on nutrition for seniors, will address some common myths about fruits.
Drinking juice is just as good as eating fruit.
Juice lacks fibre (even when the juice is freshly made). Fibre aids the digestion process and juices do not have the same effect. Additionally, many commercially manufactured fruit juices contain sugar in various forms. Note also that vegetable juices often have a considerable amount of sodium added.
Grapefruit makes you burn fat.
No scientific studies to date substantiate grapefruit’s power to burn fat. Aside from the fact that grapefruit is low in calories and has lots of fibre, researchers suspect that the addition of grapefruit to otherwise healthy meals reduces insulin levels, which helps promote weight loss, making it a healthy choice. A distinctly unhealthy choice, however, is the consumption of grapefruit in any form while you are taking certain cholesterol-reducing drugs. Ask your doctor.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (You knew this was coming.)
It depends on the reason you need to see the doctor. Apples contain a significant amount of fibre, which helps prevent constipation. The pectin in an apple is soluble fibre, which is easily absorbed by the body to help reduce cholesterol. It’s not fibre alone that explains the cardiovascular benefits of apple, but the interaction of the fibre with other nutrients in this wonderful fruit. The fibre also helps people feel full, which may help prevent obesity. New research has shown that the polynutrients in apples can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Bruised fruit is less healthy
This myth has some weight to it. Bruising can cause chemical reactions a loss of some nutrients in fruit. In fact, breaking up the cells mof any fruit can account for a loss of some vitamins. This includes slicing, chopping and mashing. It is always better to get the freshest fruit, because the longer the fruit stands, the greater the loss of nutrients.
Eating oranges will make wrinkles go away
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the synthesis of collagen, a protein that helps keep skin elastic. This may not make wrinkles go away, but it will help with the appearance of your skin. Oranges are not the only source of vitamin C. Brussel sprouts, red cabbage, snow peas, broccoli and tomatoes are also great sources of this vitamin.