from the urls-we-dig-up dept
We've all heard the phrase, "you are what you eat" as advice to avoid junk foods (even ethically-shady foods). It does make some intuitive sense that the foods we consume have a significant impact on our health, but it's often difficult to separate the fact from fiction for what constitutes heathy eating. There are raw food trends and diet fads to avoid just about any conceivable food category. Here are just a few interesting links on the topic of the things we eat having some rational health benefit.
- Cooking food allowed our ancestors to grow bigger brains since we didn't have to spend as much energy on hunting and gathering. Big brains need a lot of calories, consuming about 20% of the calories we ingest even though the brain is only about 2% of our body mass. [url]
- There's a common myth that taking vitamins can produce almost magical health benefits, but more scientific studies are finding that vitamins aren't necessarily a boon to society. Linus Pauling, the famous chemist who won two Nobel prizes, promoted the idea that vitamin C was particularly beneficial... but the science doesn't quite back him up. [url]
- Iodine has been added to dietary salt since 1924, originally to prevent goiter, but there's some evidence that iodine also plays a critical role in brain development. Economists studying the differences between areas of low iodine consumption versus higher iodine intake have found that people in areas that avoided iodine deficiencies have gotten smarter and may explain part of the Flynn Effect (which observes that developed countries saw a rise in IQ scores of 3 points per decade throughout the 20th century). [url]