5 shocking truths about 'miracle foods', from chia seeds to coconut oil

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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5 truths about miracle foods, sold with slogans that refer to health and deceive with scientific terminology

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dandruff. Is it really possible to cure, or at least prevent, diseases and disorders with food? Many foods are sold on their own miraculous properties, but, in the eyes of science, it is often just a marketing ploy.

Here because The Guardian spoke to University of Nottingham professor and British Dietetic Association spokesman Duane Mellor, who warns: "There is no scientific evidence to suggest supplementing diet with any 'miracle' food or special you will get any of the promised effects ".

Often, in fact, these foods are sold with slogans that refer to health and deceive with scientific terminology, such as'maintains cognitive function ',' antioxidants 'and free radicals'. Here, then, are 5 products that are sold as real cures for some problems, but that the expert demystifies.


Coconut oil

It is sold for its benefits ranging from weight loss to blood glucose regulation to Alzheimer's disease prevention. But none of these purported benefits have ever been tested in humans. Better for Professor Mellor to consume coconut oil occasionally in Thai dishes, for example.

Read: Coconut Oil: 10 Amazing Alternative Uses

Apple cider vinegar

It is connected to a long list of potentials benefits of all kinds. Apparently it can help digestion, sore throat, high cholesterol, cancer prevention, dandruff, acne, blood sugar and also act as a source of energy. But, again, none of these benefits are scientifically proven. Much research has been done in animals or using human cells. Duane Mellor says vinegar can be used to flavor salads or gravies and reduce salt usage.

Read: Apple cider vinegar: the thousand benefits for your health

Honey from Manuka

New Zealand honey is seen as a honey with extraordinary healing abilities. Like other types of honey, consisting of hydrogen peroxide, it has antibiotic properties. Studies suggest that Manuka honey may help relieve symptoms of infections. Beware, however, this product has large amounts of sugar.

Read: Manuka honey: properties, uses and where to find it


A microalgae that would be miraculous for metabolism problems in the heart, for the control of blood pressure and diabetes. It would also help overcome psychological problems such as anxiety or depression. But there is still no scientific proof of any of this. There Spirulina it is, however, rich in nutrients such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. Professor Mellor says that rather than buying supplements based on these microalgae, it is better to invest money in fruits and vegetables.

Read: Spirulina algae: properties, uses and where to find it

Chia seeds

There are rich in omega 3 and for people who don't eat fish they are an excellent substitute. Chia is sold as rich in protein and fiber, as well as a method to help lose weight and reduce appetite. But these factors are not yet proven. Again, for Professor Mellor these seeds can be used in bread, to give it a "Interesting flavor", but not for their health effect.


Read: Chia seeds: 10 ideas to integrate them into your diet

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