Your mom has probably at some point made you soup when you’re down with a cold or told you to eat more fish to ace your exams. But is there any fact to these old wives’ tales? We break down some of the more popular tales;


Chicken soup fights the cold

While it seems like the easiest thing a mom can cook up for a sick child, research says that the warm, salty fluid helps hydrate and remove mucus. Experts have also pointed out that chicken contains the amino acid cysteine, a compound similar to a drug called acetylcysteine. This drug is normally prescribed by doctors to patients with bronchitis and respiratory infections. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that homemade soups are generally packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like chicken, onion and carrots that can boost the immune system. So slurp away!


Eat fish (or drink fish oil) to be smart

Fish oil contains omega-3 and omega–6, which are particularly significant for normal growth and development of brain function. A neuroscientist and senior research fellow of Oxford University even conducted a study on 120 primary school children to prove it. The children were given omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs and given a series of tests. After 3 months, improvements in the student’s coordination performance were considerably better. Another research carried out by Harvard University also found that mothers who ate more fish in their second trimester of pregnancy, ended up with infants that performed better on cognitive tests.


Carrots are good for your eyes

High in antioxidants, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and a forerunner to Vitamin A [back link to Vitamin A article], carrots help to slow down macular degeneration, a leading cause of elderly blindness. So your grandma wasn’t technically lying when she said carrots are good for your eyes. As a matter of fact, research suggests that high intakes of antioxidants contained in carrots doesn’t just slow down macular degeneration but prevent it. Plus, the vitamin A helps maintain a clear cornea protecting the cells in the eyes and body. It might not help you see in the dark, like the other old wives’ tale, but it’s definitely good for maintaining good eye health.


Honey soothes coughs and sore throats

Honey had its first recorded medicinal usage some 3000 years ago by the Egyptians. Plenty of Egyptian remedies utilise honey and it’s even said that archaeologists have found pots of honey in an ancient tombs. Modern studies have found that honey is antibacterial and contains natural probiotics that help with indigestion, relieve nausea, and lower cholesterol. so it’s not surprising that it’s used as a remedy for coughs and sore throats.


Drinking water will help you lose weight

Published studies actually support the connection between water and weight management. A study found that when two groups of people followed the same calorie-controlled plan for 12 weeks, those who drank two cups of water before meals lost about 2 kilograms more than the non-water drinking group. Plus, there are also researches that to show that water offers a metabolic boost. And while the impact can seem small, in terms of the total calories burned, those little boosts can add up.


Chocolate fixes menstrual cramps

While the claims that women crave chocolate when they have PMS as the body is deficient in magnesium have been dismissed by scientists, chocolate does contain mood-boosting chemicals that may explain cravings. While regular in store chocolates may not be ideal, stock up on dark chocolate which which has less sugar and fat than milk chocolate to add a splash of chocolate into your breakfast pre-monthly cycle.