10 Foods That Work Wonders In Place Of Medicine
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Dr. Melina Jampolis, a board-certified physician nutrition specialist, informs us that no one food will work to make you healthy. But many doctors these days have switched from prescribing pills to suggesting foods that will help with a number of health issues.
From dealing with weight control to preventing and controlling chronic diseases, holistic practices are better than adding more toxic chemicals to our bodies. And although one food might be recommended for a specific treatment, you’ve got to remember that foods don’t work in isolation.
“True nutrition experts prefer to speak about dietary patterns or groups of foods, as nutrients in foods work in combination to improve certain conditions,” Jampolis said.
As with every rule, there are exceptions. Dr. John La Puma, a practicing physician and professionally trained chef, offers 10 foods you may want to ensure are always in your kitchen, instead of stocking up the medicine cabinet.
Top 10 Foods As Medicine For Common Ailments
1. Buckwheat Honey—For A Cough
“Buckwheat honey is better than cough syrup for nocturnal cough in kids,” according to La Puma.
Derived from the bee nectar of buckwheat grain flowers, this honey may eventually make its way into everyone’s “medicine cabinet” or kitchen cabinet.
Buckwheat honey is especially useful for kids under 6, who should not be taking over-the-counter cough medicines.
2. Pickled Foods—For Upset Stomach
Raw organic yogurt, kefir, and pickled vegetables contain living bacteria that promote a healthy digestive tract, says Dr. Gerard Mullin, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and author of “The Gut Balance Revolution.”
Fermented foods prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, infantile diarrhea, eczema, and allergies. “But the hottest use of fermented foods is to burn stubborn fat,” says Mullin.
3. Ginger—For Menstrual Cramps
A pungent spice from Southeast Asia, ginger is a big help to digestive problems and other cramps. “As a digestive disease specialist I frequently recommend the spice ginger in the form of tea for nausea and abdominal discomfort,” said Mullin.
Dr. La Puma offers his thoughts on ginger:
“Ginger probably works as well as ibuprofen for menstrual cramps. It works taken as a ginger capsule or chewed,” said La Puma.
The recommended dosage is 750-2000 mg of ginger powder taken the first four days of your menstrual cycle. Studies show this being an effective treatment for cramps.
4. Peppermint—For IBS
As a supplement, essential oil, or tea, peppermint can be and is used medicinally to help treat abdominal cramping, as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“What I find interesting about peppermint is that when compared to the various medical therapies for IBS, peppermint is the most effective and the least toxic,” Mullin told CNN.
5. Hibiscus Tea—For High Blood Pressure
Infused as an herbal tea, hibiscus flowers are full of anthocyanins which help lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure. La Puma suggests hibiscus tea has greater antihypertensive effects than blueberries, previously perceived to be the best source.
A study in the Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences states that hibiscus has multiple health benefits, specifically blood-pressure-lowering abilities.
6. Turmeric—For Arthritis
Turmeric actually has many health benefits, as well as a warm, bitter flavor. Jampolis recommends using turmeric to treat inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory diseases in the brain.
“Turmeric is used especially for brain-related conditions and to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It can be also be used for arthritis,” said Jampolis.
The trick to turmeric is the curcumin, an active ingredient that delivers the health benefits. By adding black pepper to turmeric you maximize the disease-destroying potentials.
7. Chia Seeds—For High Cholesterol
Chia seeds are highly nutritious, despite their tiny size. They are so nutrient-rich they are called a superfood by those who enjoy them. Dr. Jampolis recommends them to patients to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol with amazing results.
“I can actually say that I’ve seen great results just adding chia seeds to an already healthy diet for lowering cholesterol,” said Jampolis.
8. Steel-cut Oatmeal—For High LDL Cholesterol
“This is a no-brainer for lowering LDL if you haven’t tried anything else,” said La Puma. “There are lots of studies showing that foods high in soluble fiber lower LDL cholesterol.”
One of these studies suggests eating at least 3 grams of oats daily. Besides being easy, it is highly beneficial. And just imagine the super-benefits from oatmeal with chia seeds—say goodbye to bad cholesterol.
9. Beans—For High Blood Sugar Levels
Beans are loaded with fiber and protein, and are helpful in managing high cholesterol, as well as great for lowering chronically high blood sugars, according to Jampolis. The fiber and protein content in beans help make you feel fuller for longer, which will cut your snacking down.
“I have certainly seen improvements in blood sugar with encouraging more fiber-rich foods like beans that are also rich in magnesium, but it is harder to isolate that effect alone,” said Jampolis.
10. Salmon—For Inflammation
Salmon is one of the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that treat any inflammatory or autoimmune condition.
Dr. Jampolis recommends salmon for patients with high triglyceride levels, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or MS.
Dr. Jampolis leaves us with a final thought on the power and powerful health-benefits of foods instead of drugs:
“I think most people think food can’t possibly be as potent as drugs, but I see the powerful direct benefits all the time.”
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