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Can garlic ward off mosquitoes? 5 summer food mysteries solved

By Nicci Micco, July 20, 2009 - 4:36am

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Are these summer-food myths fact or fiction? Take our quiz to find out how food-smart you are and get delicious summer recipes!

True or False? Garlic wards off mosquitoes.
False. Researchers at the University of Connecticut tested the theory. It didn’t work, but maybe because the participants didn’t eat enough, say the scientists. Eat more with these 20+ amazing garlic recipes.

True or False? Watermelon isn’t very nutritious; it’s all water!
False. Watermelon is mostly water: 92 percent. But it also has its share of nutrients. One cup of watermelon provides good amounts of vitamin C and red watermelon contains lycopene, an antioxidant that’s associated with reduced risk for certain types of cancer. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy watermelon in these sweet & savory watermelon recipes.

True or False? The compound that makes raspberries red also may help keep blood vessels healthy.
True. Raspberries are red because of anthocyanins, antioxidants that have been associated with improved blood-vessel function. The yummy berries are also loaded with vitamin C and are high in fiber. Enjoy them in these 10 summery raspberry recipes.

True or False? Licking ice cream is more satisfying than eating it with a spoon.
True, according to Kay McMath, a food technologist for New Zealand’s Massey University. “Flavor in ice cream is released when the fat—which carries the flavor—is warmed to at least body temperature,” says McMath. When you lick ice cream it coats the tongue and fully warms the frozen treat. A spoon, on the other hand, insulates the ice cream. And then there’s the psychological aspect of savoring the treat more slowly: you just cannot lick ice cream as fast as you can spoon it. Break out the cones when you serve Chocolate Cookie & Walnut Crunch Ice Cream and these 5 more recipes for healthier homemade ice cream.

True or False? A pina colada can have as many calories as a cheeseburger.
True. Both have about 400 calories. Some of summer’s most popular drinks can boost your daily calorie tally substantially. A margarita has about as many calories (367) as a hot dog with cheese and chili (375). And, from a calorie perspective, drinking a wine cooler is like eating a generous scoop of potato salad. So before you say “Bottoms up,” consider the calories in your favorite summer sipper and get healthier recipes for your favorite summer drinks.

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TAGS: Nicci Micco, Health Blog, Nutrition, Wellness, What's in season

Nicci Micco
Nicci Micco is co-author of EatingWell 500-Calorie Dinners. She has a master's degree in nutrition and food sciences, with a focus in weight management.

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