They run on the internet numerous myths about the health benefits of certain foods, such as pineapple to lose weight or flaxseed to control diabetes. However, many of the functions attributed to these foods can be wrong, according to BBC.
To dismantle these urban legends, it is necessary to know that the role of food is provide nutrients to our body. Once our digestive system has absorbed them, they participate in certain biological processes that promote proper functioning of our body.
For example, vitamin B, magnesium or zinc are involved in biochemical reactions in our cells, vitamins C and E are antiosidant, so they protect against oxidative damage. On the other hand, iron is essential for hemoglobin to transport oxygen in the blood.
However, focusing on vitamin C, whose benefits for the body affect the nervous system, the immune system and energy metabolism, it is unable to slow aging or prevent disease like the constipated.
This does not mean that what we eat does not affect our body. The diet is a risk factor in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which cause 70% of deaths in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or respiratory diseases are four of the most common NCDs.
Several studies corroborate the health benefits of a balanced diet. One of them, published in 2017, revealed that increasing the intake of vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish reduces the risk of mortality. Similarly, another research from 2019 concluded that the Mediterranean diet is the most favorable for preventing type 2 diabetes in the long term, in addition to cardiovascular diseases.
On the other hand, whole grains, those with the whole grain, foods rich in fiber and dairy are capable of lower the risk of colorectal cancer, according to the 2018 report from the World Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF).
The same publication relates the high consumption of vegetables, vegetables and fruits with a lower risk of some types of cancer respiratory character and the upper part of the digestive system.
If our goal is lose weight in a healthy way, the WCRF states that the “consumption of foods with dietary fiber it probably protects against weight gain, being overweight and obesity. “
For make sure of medical benefits of foods, extracts or active ingredients, it is advisable to consult the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products, which is in charge of authorizing their therapeutic use.
If what we want is to know what the non-therapeutic benefits of these, then we must go to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), responsible for studying them, or the European Commission, which publishes a list of the healthy properties of food.
Also institutions such as WHO, the Ministry of Health or the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) are reliable sources in which to verify the information that we can read on the internet.