Five Summer Food Myths Debunked

Summer is well and truly here, and with that comes incredibly cool smoothies made from super organic foods, delicious salads and lots of misconceptions.

There are, of course, food myths for every season, but because we are generally more out and about over the summer months they seem to get more attention.

With this in mind, here are five common summer food and drink myths debunked.


Eight Glasses Of Water A Day?

The eight-by-eight rule, that you should drink eight eight-ounce glasses (around two litres) of water per day has persisted for so long, it is not entirely known where the rule comes from, although it has been traced back to a 1974 book by Dr Frederick Stare and may have started in 1945.

The former, called Panic in the Pantry, suggested between six and eight glasses of water a day, but it also noted that this does not have to be just water.

Other drinks, as well as fruits and vegetables, are high in water, and so if you are not drinking two litres of water, if you are drinking other beverages and eating cucumbers, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables that are full of water, you are having enough.

Water intake largely depends on the person, and as long as you drink water when you feel thirsty you do not need to necessarily follow the eight-by-eight rule.


Don’t Swim After Eating

A common childhood myth is that you should wait at least half an hour after you eat before you start swimming because there is a danger of drowning. There are several stated theories as to why, but none of them are in any way true.

The most common belief, based mildly in reality, is that your body pumps blood to your digestive tract and therefore does not pump enough blood to your arms and legs to keep you afloat.

This is palpably untrue, and the biggest risk associated with swimming after eating is a mild stomach cramp.


Hot Foods And Drinks Make You Hotter

Whilst it may seem like common sense, given that hot foods and drinks warm you up in winter, hot drinks can actually make you cooler in the right circumstances.

The reason for this is that hot foods and hot drinks cause you to sweat, and so as long as there is a way to make that sweat evaporate, there is actually less potential heat in your body after drinking a hot drink than if you drank something ice cold.

This does not work if the day is too humid, however, and much like with the water myth above, allow your thirst to guide you.


Garlic Wards Off Mosquitos

There is a theory that chewing on garlic cloves can ward off mosquitoes and other annoying insects in summer, but unfortunately whilst garlic has its own health benefits, insect repellent is not one of them.


No Need To Wash Anything You Peel

A common and quite dangerous myth is that any produce you plan to peel, such as potatoes, avocadoes, cucumbers and citrus fruits do not need to be washed if you are peeling them.

Unfortunately, the bacteria on the skin can be carried from the outside to the inside if you use a peeling knife, so quickly rinse your produce under running tap water before you start slicing.

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