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Mouthwatering “Medicines”: Chow Down…Feel Better

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

We all know that food can cure hunger pains and joining up with friends or family for dinner can cure some common social ailments, but did you know that some of our favorite foods actually have medicinal properties. That’s right, new evidence shows that sinking your teeth into some of your favorite tasty treats can literally be good for you.

“Cure” a cough with chocolate: Because of the presence of theobromine chocolate can curb a cough in the vargus nerve, which is where your cough begins. Experts suggest one 50-gram bar of dark chocolate or two cups (500 mL) of hot cocoa (made with real cocoa, not hot chocolate mix) daily.

Guard Against Colds With Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, which is known to boost the immune system and neutralized viral and bacterial infections. Professionals recommend four cloves, twice a week during cold season, and if you can’t chew on it raw, try mashing it on whole wheat bread, salad, or pasta.

Deal With Diarrhea with coconut: Because coconut water hydrates better than any sports drink and is high in potassium, which help put back essential electrolytes lost through diarrhea, experts suggest up to two cups (500 mL) of coconut water per day until your diarrhea stops.

Feast On Yogurt For A Yeast Infection: Bacteria in unsweetened yogurt helps promote the growth of good bacteria in the female anatomy. And, because it is also modestly acidic, it helps level vaginal pH to kill yeast. Professionals suggest one cup (250mL) per day, until your infection-free. After that, you should enjoy at least one cup (250mL) of yogurt two to three times per week as a means of maintaining healthy bacteria levels.

Zap zits with watermelon: The high content of lycopene, 40 percent more in fact than ripe red raw tomatoes guards the skin from oxygen damage which tends to weaken the skin’s outer layer, making it easier for acne-inducing bacteria to invade. In fact, experts suggest one cup (250mL) of fresh mashed watermelon daily.

Tackle rosacea with red peppers: Abundant in vitamin C, red peppers bolster collagen production and keep skin moisturized which help keep skin firm and reduce wrinkles. Red peppers are also a powerful antioxidant, which can help stabilize the skin surrounding blood vessels, and help reduce blushing. For best results indulge in ¼ cup (50mL) daily of raw peepers (cooking only depletes the vitamin C content).

Raise Your Glass (Of Milk) For PMS: the combination of calcium and vitamin D help reduce the effects of PMS (according to research). In fact, experts suggest that lower levels of estrogen throughout the latter part of the menstrual cycle may interfere with the absorption of both nutrients and suggest about four cups of skim milk or fortified soy milk daily. Replace a ½ -cup (125mL)) serving of a yogurt containing both calcium and vitamin D for one to two milk servings daily and if you have “issues” with diary, consider a calcium and vitamin D supplement.

Pamper a wound with pumpkin seeds: Both zinc and protein can help boost collagen production and strengthen skin and blood vessels. Experts suggest ¼ serving (50mL) of roasted or raw seeds daily until the cut is healed.

Enhance fertility with cremini mushrooms: High in selenium this mineral helps guard eggs and uterine cells from harmful free radicals. According to professionals women trying to conceive should have two to 2 ½ cups (500 to 625mL) of cooked mushrooms three times a week until you conceive.

Prevent bloating with peppermint tea: the mint (peppermint that is) helps calm the digestive tract and relaxes muscles to promote release of gases. Additionally, the tea eases indigestion and encourages the passage of food by enhancing the flow of bile essential for digestion. Nutrition experts suggest one cup (250mL) or more of peppermint tea at any time at which you feel bloated. However, they warn against this remedy if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease since the peppermint can exacerbate the symptoms.

Battle bowel problems with black beans: Among the best sources of soluble fibre, just a half-cup (25mL) contains 6.4 grams, an amount you should consume, according to experts, each day. The soluble fibre quells constipation by softening stool and making it easier to pass. Additionally, it adds bulk to the colon making things thicker and guarding against diarrhea.

Defend Bone Density With Kale: Replete with both calcium and vitamin K just a half cup of this leafy green meets your daily requirement for vitamin K necessary for creating proteins and strong bones. Calcium further boosts bone strength and helps speed healing and possibly preventing future fractures.

Experts suggest a half-cup (125mL) of chopped, cooked, kale daily until your break heals. And, if it’s too bitter for you, try adding it to other foods such ad pasta sauce, salad, or soup. And, look for bundles with smaller leaves; they tend to have a milder taste.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Mouthwatering “Medicines”: Chow Down…Feel Better

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