Science - Medical Myths
Spinach is not so great for iron? Like most people, I learned when I was young that spinach was high in iron and too much salt was bad for you, but John Stossel over at Town Hall has an article that has just blown that childhood knowledge out of the water. From the article
It turns out that spinach is an OK source of iron but no better than pizza, pistachio nuts or dried peaches. The spinach-iron myth grew out of a simple mathematical miscalculation: A researcher accidentally moved a decimal point one space, so he thought spinach had 10 times more iron than it did. The press reported it, and I had to eat spinach.
It seems that spinach has around the same amount of iron as other similar vegies and also contains oxalate which binds to the iron and makes it undigestable. The good news is that spinach is still high in other useful things like vitamin A,E and beta-caretone, so it isn't all in vain.
A little more research turns up this medical website that busts a series of other myths that many of us have been taught such as
- Drinking a lot of hot, black coffee will help you sober up after drinking a lot of alcohol
- Drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your overall health
- Feeding a child a lot of candy or food with a lot of sugar in it will make them hyperactive
- Your heart stops for an instant whenever you sneeze
- Taking vitamin C will help you avoid getting a cold
- Feed a cold and starve a fever
- Cold, wet weather causes colds and flu
- Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
- Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
- Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis
- Eating chocolate causes acne
- Shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker and coarser
Whilst I didn't believe all of these, I certainly thought some were true. I have to wonder how many other childhood medical myths there are....