It's time to start considering food as a lifeline for curing your daily ailments.
Some foods can act like good old natural medicine and help you ward off anything from an aggravating headache to a sleepless night. Stock up your cabinet with these healing foods and be ready for whatever life might throw at you.
Headaches and migraines
Before you go ahead and pop some pain killers, why not try eating a handful of crunchy magnesium-rich almonds. Magnesium deficiency is common in individuals who suffer from migraines. According to research, magnesium can relax your blood vessels and cure that throbbing headache. Other magnesium-rich foods include bananas, dried apricots, cashews, and seeds.
Scratchy throat or cough
Are you suffering from a persistent cough that keeps you up all night? Then you should probably listen to Grandma’s remedy and swallow some honey. Studies have found that honey can alleviate a scratchy throat and hack attacks as much as cough syrup. This is probably due to its antimicrobial properties. Manuka honey, a darker variety, has been found to be a better option due to its stronger antioxidant properties. Mix it up with some warm lemon juice for added antioxidant power.
Muscle soreness after a workout
Dreading the after effect of your workout? Instead of being stiff for the following two days, why not reach for some ginger. According to research, ginger has been found to reduce muscle soreness. The results of one study showed that subjects who consumed 2 grams ginger after a workout experienced a 25 percent reduction in post workout pain. This effect has been credited to its content of potent antioxidants, called gingerols, which have anti-inflammatory properties similar to certain pain reducing drugs. You can eat it pickled, add it to your baking, or brew it.
Tired, drained and beat? If you're fatigued then your best source of energy is water. Water is the most overlooked energizer out there. If you’re dehydrated, which happens to 20% of people, it can limit your physical abilities and mental capacities.
How can you tell? You might feel tired, cranky, or moody. You can also tell by checking your urine color. You can also tell by checking your urine color. If the output is dark-colored then you're probably not well-hydrated.
And it’s not enough to drink when you’re thirsty; that’s a sign you’re already dehydrated. Your best bet is to ensure 6-8 glasses of water per day. To get better control on your hydration levels, keep a water log. For high tech individuals, you can download apps that pop up with reminders throughout the day.
We hear so much advice on the dos and don’ts of ensuring a good night’s sleep, but I’m sure you have missed this one advice. The latest studies have revealed the benefits of eating two, not one, kiwis before bedtime. According to one study, those who consumed two kiwis one hour before hitting the sack feel asleep 14 minutes faster and had better quality sleep than their counterparts who didn’t. Kiwis contain many medicinal compounds, most importantly serotonin, a transmitter responsible for the snooze effect.
Bloating and gas
Fennel is one of the fastest and most effective home remedy for bloating and gas. Fennel is a pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers native to the Mediterranean. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking as a spice.
Chew on some fennel seeds or make a tea by crushing the seeds and boiling them whenever you’re having one of those gassy moments. The compounds in these seeds relax the muscles in your digestive tract and allow trapped gas to pass within minutes. As an added value, you’ll also have fresh breath.
Racha Adib is a Beirut-based licensed dietitian who offers nutrition and wellness counseling to individuals and corporations. She graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics followed by a certificate in Essentials of Business. She is a member of the Lebanese Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and the Lebanese League for Women in Business. She has also been frequently featured in media on MTV's “The Doctors,” LBC's “Mission Fashion,” and Orbit's “Ayoun Beirut” among others, and hosts a weekly radio program on the latest nutrition news and science breakthroughs. She can be found on Twitter: @rachaadib