Foods That Cure

Do you have migraines, heartburn, or gas? Doctors and drug companies have a pill for you. But before you reach for the medicine cabinet, try a more natural remedy.

Good nutrition can not only help keep you fit, but treat disease as well. You may not even have to go to a health food store. You can purchase them right at your grocery store.

Today, I want to share some simple advice on using food as medicine. You may also learn a food you’ve been eating has caused you problems.

* Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure *

The processed food you eat may cause ailments. If you suffer from any of these problems before you do any thing else simply avoid the food triggers:

Migraine Headaches– Avoid processed meats, artificial sweeteners, MSG, chocolate, and alcohol.

Heartburn– Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Don’t eat large meals and don’t eat before bed. Choose lean cuts of meat over fatty. Chose olive oil over synthetic dressings. Choose the mild sauce over the spicy.

Gas– Avoid carbonated drinks and sorbitol-sweetened food (sugar-free candies, cookies, and ice cream). Avoid beans and tofu and limit dairy.

Constipation– Don’t skip meals. Try to get some exercise before eating. Avoid frozen dinners and fatty processed meats like salami and lunch meats.

* Using Your Food as Medicine *

Migraine headaches, heartburn, gas, joint pain, constipation, and even bad breath have prescription and over-the-counter medications. But next time you have one, try one of these food cures1:

Migraine Headaches– Eat some fish. Specifically try a fatty fish like trout, sardines, or herring. The omega-3 fatty acids in these fish lower the body’s production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like chemicals that can cause the inflammation and pain of migraines. Eat a 4-6 ounce serving two to three times a week.

Heartburn– Ginger root will cure the burn and prevent future attacks. Research shows ginger can strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This is the valve that prevents stomach acid from coming back into your esophagus. Add one-half teaspoon of freshly grated gingerroot to a cup of hot water. Let the ginger steep for 10 minutes. Strain the ginger and drink.

Gas– If you have ever doubled-over from gas, you know how painful this can be. Before reaching for the Gas-X, try a cup of peppermint tea. Peppermint tea is an antispasmodic that relaxes the bowel muscles. Another option is fennel seeds. Eat one-half teaspoon after your meal.

Joint Pain– If you suffer from arthritic pain, eat some berries. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries will slow the deterioration of your joints. A Boston University study on arthritis patients revealed these foods protected joints through the action of naturally occurring Vitamin C. Vitamin C also plays a key role in the creation of collagen, an essential component of cartilage and bone.

Constipation– Fruit that has a high fiber and water content will keep your digestive tract free and clear. Try an apple, pear, tomato, berries or grapes with a couple glasses of water the next time.

Bad Breath– After your meal order a cup of tea instead of coffee. According to the Chicago College of Dentistry, compounds in black and green tea halt the growth of bacteria that makes your breath offensive. Decaf varieties will work as well.

Al Sears, MD

1 O-Brien-Braverman, Tricia. “10 Food Cures.” Fitness. December 2003: 56-59.