Food is a good natural medicine, and not just chocolate self-medication. They are loaded with not only foods rich in vitamins and minerals, but also phytonutrients that support the immune system, reduce inflammation in the body and prevent chronic diseases. So the next time you have jet lag, a sleepless night, or other ailments, there’s a food for those types of situations.
Studies have found that honey can help relieve a scratchy throat and stave off attacks. This probably has a lot to do with the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of honey. Mix two teaspoons of honey in warm water or herbal tea and drink a glass every two to three hours as needed. Some studies suggest that darker varieties such as manuka honey—a variety produced from a tree of the same name in New Zealand and Australia—and buckwheat may have the strongest antibacterial properties. Blend into yogurt, salad dressings, and smoothies; substitute for processed white stuff in baked goods; Drizzle over roasted vegetables.
It was found that subjects who lifted weights experienced a 25 percent greater reduction in post-exercise pain after consuming two grams of raw ginger (about two teaspoons) each day for a week and a half. Experts credit antioxidants called gingerols, which may have inflammation-reducing properties similar to drugs like ibuprofen. And this wonderful root has long been used to suppress nausea and motion sickness as well. Mince the ginger and add it to stir-fries and soups; eat with pickled brine or sushi; Add or add to baked goods in crystallized form.
When it’s hard to sleep—and women are more likely than men to toss and turn all night—this furry fruit can help you relax faster. Researchers at a Taiwanese university found that women who ate two kiwis an hour before bed for a month fell asleep 14 minutes faster and had better sleep duration and quality than those who didn’t eat fruit. Kiwi can increase levels of serotonin, a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter. Chop the kiwi and add it to fruit salads and salsas; puree and mix into smoothies and fruit drinks; slice for a tart topping.
If your brain often feels tired, you can (sweetly) use a handful of these seeds, also known as pepitas. It is the leading source of magnesium, a mineral deficient in people with increased migraine frequency. Low magnesium levels increase the constriction of blood vessels surrounding the brain. Use a quarter-cup of seeds daily, an amount that provides about half your magnesium needs. Sprinkle a handful on oatmeal and salads to add some crunch; bake into desserts; Make it into pesto.
If your monthly period is forcing you, more almonds can be a good solution. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that women with the highest riboflavin intakes from food sources like almonds were 35 percent less likely to develop PMS, including lethal cramps and brain fog, than those who took the lowest amounts. “Riboflavin plays a role in potentiating certain neurotransmitters that may play a role in reducing PMS symptoms,” says study author Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, Ph.D. Two ounces of almonds, or about 40 nuts, provides more than 30 percent of your daily riboflavin needs. Add cereal, yogurt and cooked quinoa or rice; garnish with green beans and asparagus; Use it as a crunchy coating for fish or chicken.
This fruit is an edible source of melatonin, a hormone that helps reset your sleep and wake cycles so you get tired when it gets dark and break down when the sun comes up. On the day of your flight, eat a handful of dried cherries or a glass of 100 percent cherry juice. Do the same after dark for the first few days at your destination. The vitamin A in cherries can boost your immune health, which is also beneficial when spending time on an airplane. Throw in granola and rice; mix water with a smoothie or soda.
They’re really good for your heart – especially for your digestive system. A study in the journal Gut found that people who followed a high-fiber diet were about 20 percent less likely to report symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, including heartburn. “Fiber can help move food out of the stomach faster and reduce the risk of reflux,” says study researcher Hashem B. El-Serag, M.P.H., MD, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor College of Medicine. Stuff the beans into a vegetarian burrito or quesadilla; stir into the soup; puree for dipping.