Many old wives' tales exist that promise benefits of better health or to cure an ailment. In some cases, these tales are at least partially true. Common old wives' tales include those related to eyesight, joints and muscular health, and some claim to reduce doctor's visits and keep children free from disease.
Several old wives' tales seem to be based on science. One popular notion is that eating carrots improves eyesight, and research has indeed shown that the nutrients found in this vegetable promote good eye health. Beta-carotene, a natural substance found in many fruits and vegetables, including carrots, is converted to vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for many functions of the eye, including maintaining healthy cornea and retina structures, and it has also been shown to slow the onset and progression of macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in the elderly population.
Popular sayings surrounding the health benefits of apples seem to also be backed by current understanding of the nutrients in these fruits, and what they do for the human body. An apple's skin contains pectin, which is good for lowering cholesterol. Apples are also good sources of antioxidants, which are shown to prevent disease. The vitamin C in apples is necessary for the production of collagen in many parts of the body.