I know we say it a lot, but you really are what you eat; and when you are feeling ill or out for the count, it is food that can get you back up on your feet. Knowing the healing properties of certain foods, and what they can help treat, can put a lot of power back in your hands, giving you a healthy way to get well again – without having to rely too heavily on medication.
Treatment: Stress and anxiety
When stress begins to get the better of you, reach for a banana. Bananas are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin B6, which is partly responsible for the production of serotonin – which in turn can help take the edge off the day.
Treatment: Kidney stone prevention
There are few things more painful than a kidney stone. Apricots are full of fibre, potassium and a very small amount of sodium – all of which help prevent the mineral build-up that results in their formation.
Treatment: Constipation and indigestion
Having problems with your gut? Well, research suggests that one and a half cups of yogurt helps food move more efficiently through the gut. Furthermore, the live culture will feed the friendly bacteria in your intestines, improving digestion and reducing gas build up.
Feeling queasy? Ginger tea has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of both motion and pregnancy related nausea. It is not quite known which compounds within the ginger are responsible, but research has shown that it works, and that there are no side effects.
Treatment: High blood pressure
Raisins are rich in both fibre and potassium, which are often big factors of an anti-hypertension diet. Research has shown that grapes, and their derivatives (such as raisins) go a long way to keep the cardiovascular system fit and healthy.
Treatment: Sore throat/cough
Although not often serious, a sore throat and cough can put a real downer on your day. Research has shown that 2 teaspoons of dark honey can be more effective at reducing the severity of a cough/sore throat than most cough medicines. It is though that the increased antioxidant and antimicrobial content helps sooth and protect an inflamed throat.
Treatment: gastrointestinal problems
Another one for gut related problems, basil contains eugenol, which has been shown to help protect the digestive system form cramping, nausea, pain and diarrhoea. It does this by killing harmful strains of bacteria.
Treatment: High cholesterol
Pears are rich in pectin, which has been shown to help remove bad cholesterol.
Thanks to the extremely high fibre content of figs, stool remains soft, preventing the return of those painful and uncomfortable haemorrhoids.
Treatment: Yeast infection
The compounds of Garlic inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for the pain, itching and discharge associated with yeast infections.
Allergies like hay fever and pet hair can make going out or seeing friends an unpleasant experience. One way of dealing with it is by ensuring you are eating well. Healthy food often contains natural antihistamines, and can help protect you from the worst of it. A prime example of this is the orange, which is viewed by many as natures answer to allergies. Make sure you are getting plenty of them.
Inflammation is one of the leading causes of pain, as well as a whole myriad of maladies. Fresh pineapples are rich in anti-inflammatories, so snacking on a pineapple fruit salad can go a long way to help.
Treatment: For a healthy prostate
If you think there is something wrong with your prostate, go see a doctor. Don’t quibble about it – prostate problems are serious. However, if you have a healthy prostate, and want to avoid one that may develop problems, try including salmon regularly in your diet. Its mix of nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids helps maintain a healthy prostate, and acts as a good preventative measure against potential problems.
Treatment: Acne and overall health
Green tea is absolutely brimming with antioxidants, making it a great choice for overall health maintenance and support. However, it contains EGCG, which has been shown to specifically help keep acne at bay. If you are suffering from acne, try including a few cups in your day – it could help
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a sporadic and uncomfortable disorder to have that can result in anything from regular cramps, to erratic bowel movements. Fortunately, brown rice can help alleviate bad spells of it, as it contains mammoth amounts of fibre and bulk, helping to keep stool soft but firm.
Hopefully with these food related remedies, you can take control of the minor ailments that may afflict you every now and again. The best way to stay illness free is to lead a healthy and well balanced lifestyle. There is no one quick fix, but the above should at least help you treat any symptoms, if not the underlying causes.
Please note: The above is not medical advice, it is informational knowledge into the nutritional value of certain foods. Do not give up any prescribed medication. Please consult a medical professional if in doubt.