When most people think of natural healing, herbal teas and tonics, essential oils, and therapeutic body treatments are usually the first things that come to mind. What you may not realize is that certain foods are just as powerful as their herbal relatives, and consuming them is a very simple and effective way to heal the body and promote overall good health. These super-foods are much cheaper than prescription and over-the-counter medications--and they're tasty alternatives free of nasty side-effects. If your curiosity is piqued, there's more. Unveiled for you here are 10 potent foods that can cure some of the most common ailments.
Rich in folate, potassium, and fiber, asparagus is a great food to incorporate into your diet if you have high blood pressure. Asparagus also promotes healthy urination, relieves constipation, reduces inflammation and swelling, and even increases milk production in breastfeeding moms. There are many ways to cook up asparagus, but you can best preserve its crunch by cooking it on the grill. Drizzle it with some olive oil and top it off with some of your favorite seasonings.
Spinach is jam-packed with all kinds of nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, and K, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc--and it's high in fiber, too. Eating spinach can relieve headaches and constipation--and due to its anti-inflammatory benefits, it can reduce swelling of any kind including hemorrhoids. Spinach also has the ability to decrease symptoms associated with diabetes, it strengthens bones, and it pumps up the immune system--especially during cold and flu season.
Vitamin B-6 and potassium are the super-powers found in yams, and regular consumption can cure an impressive number of ailments. For starters, yams are well-known for soothing symptoms of depression and painful cramps in women suffering from PMS. Yams can put a halt to a persistent cough, and are known to cure chronic diarrhea and frequent urination as well. Because they contain a fair amount of fiber, yams are also good for curing problems associated the digestive system as a whole.
Containing its own natural sugars, honey is not only a medicinal food--it's a sweet one, too. Honey can instantly soothe a sore throat and alleviate excessive coughing--and whether you eat a spoon of it by itself, spread it on a slice of toast, or add it to hot tea or water, the healing benefits of honey are immediate. Honey has a coating effect and is a great food for lessening pain caused by ulcers. It can also be used to relieve constipation and to strengthen the immune system.
There's some truth to the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," and with its high vitamin C and fiber content--it's easy to see why. Apples remedy diarrhea and abdominal pain associated with indigestion, relieve constipation, and can even help lower your blood pressure. Eating apples or drinking pure apple juice at the onset of a cold will help relieve symptoms, and those with diabetes will find that consuming apples can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Ancient China revered green onions for their medicinal benefits, and to this day this vegetable is still widely used to cure many common ailments. Green onions have a warming effect on the body, and are often helpful during cold and flu season. If you have diabetes, green onions can assist in regulating blood sugar. They're also useful for relieving abdominal pain brought on by severe constipation.
High in vitamin C, radishes give the immune system the boost it needs to fight off the flu and the common cold, as well as a number of other respiratory infections. Radishes can be eaten raw, added to a fresh salad, or cooked and added to some of your favorite dishes and stews.
As well as being a popular vegetable, tomatoes are natural healers as well. Containing vitamins A, B, C, and K, along with calcium and potassium--tomatoes help maintain health and balance in the digestive system, assist in lowering blood pressure, and can even soothe sore, bleeding gums in those suffering from gingivitis.
If you're looking for an edible super-hero, figs are the food for you. Among plants, figs contain the most calcium, and they're an excellent source of fiber and potassium, too. Figs can provide relief for chest pain, muscle aches, arthritis, dry cough, sore throat, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, and last but not least--hemorrhoids. It's a great food to include in your diet if you're recovering from surgery or a prolonged illness, as figs can help rebuild strength lost during periods of immobility.
Walnuts are filled to the brim with nutrients, and on the list you'll find vitamins B-6 and E, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They're also a good source of calcium and iron. Walnuts help keep blood pressure in check, reduce inflammation, and aid in the passage of bladder and kidney stones. Walnuts are easy to add into your diet--they make a great snack, can enhance a fresh salad, or can be baked into your favorite dishes and desserts.
The next time you need a cure for a common ailment, turn to your kitchen instead of your medicine cabinet. Inexpensive and safe to use, these 10 foods can help turn things around when you're feeling under the weather.
Guest post from Jean Clark. Jean writes for BackgroundCheck.org.