After eating all that great Thanksgiving food yesterday, I am now thinking about food. It's on my mind a lot, that's for sure! In addition to being one of the greatest sources of enjoyment ever, food really can help what ails you and prevent little things from creeping up. Nutrition is the most effective beauty treatment and ailment preventative that you can give yourself! I am actually a believer in additional supplementation with a good vitamin as well, to fill in some of the inevitable nutritional voids left during the day. Nutrition is a valuable component that can help both athletes and regular exercisers protect themselves and improve performance. Have you noticed that kids are getting bigger, stronger, faster, more into the weightlifting, more into nutrition, more into size? It is becoming ever more apparent that nutrition is the key to well-being and longevity and performance.
With that said, let's look at some foods that can help banish the occasional headache or upset stomach, etc.!
Stress - Eat a banana! It has vitamin B6, which helps the body produce calming serotonin, which can get you through a crisis peacefully!
High Blood Pressure - Raisins are extremely high in potassium, which is proven to bring down blood pressure. Also anything having to do with grapes will aid your heart because of the high polyphenols!
Constipation or gas - Yogurt is great for this because it has cultures that feed the intestines. The beneficial bacterias found in it will improve your gut's ability to digest food like beans and dairy, which produce pain and gas.
Kidney Stones - Eat dried apricots. It has a great combination of nutrients that will help prevent minerals from accumulating in the urine and forming calcium oxalate stones, the most common form of kidney stones.
Winter Blues - Tuna fish has 800 mg of omega-3's, which treats the kind of blues that make someone feel low or anxious. But the top source of omega-3 fatty acids would be flaxseed and walnuts. Eat a good supply of this and you're bound to be less depressed this winter!
Nausea - Pregnancy or motion sickness can be treated with ginger, one of the oldest remedies for nausea. Keep ginger ale, fresh ginger or ginger cookies on hand. Purchase ginger root capsules and take according to directions.
Other Stomach issues - Cramps or diarrhea can be caused by bacterias such as Salmonella or Listeria. Basil, which contains eugenol, can ward off and kill these before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your system. Use fresh, minced basil in sauces and salads for great flavor and preventative maintenance.
Coughing - Even more effective than OTC cough remedies was thick, dark brown honey! It limits severity and frequency of a cough in children.
Fatigue - Orange juice has natural fructose, a perfect pick-me-up when you're feeling sapped of energy. Also the Vitamin C helps combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals and helps metabolize iron, which helps move energizing oxygen through the body!
Insomnia - Studies show that people with insomnia are deficient in tryptophan. Eating 3 oz. of turkey will give you all the tryptophan you need in a day. So eat a turkey sandwich before bedtime if you know you'll have trouble sleeping!
Yeast Infection - Garlic has an ingredient known to kill Candida. Have plenty of garlic in sauces, marinades and dressings!
These are just a few things I found on the internet and in Prevention Magazine. I always believe that natural is better because it provides the body what it needs to heal itself. Before you reach into the medicine cabinet for that drug of choice, go and Google some natural ways to help yourself and as always, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, so eat up on those great foods that you love and find out what good they are doing you while you enjoy them!One of the foods that I really enjoy, not only during Thanksgiving, but all year long, is yams or sweet potatoes. These are full of beta carotene and resin glycosides, a relatively new nutritional group that scientists are very optimistic about. I also found a really great blog post about the debate concerning sweet potatoes vs. yams with some great references about the different varieties of sweet potatoes! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and are well on your way to another happy holiday coming up in a few short weeks!