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12 Major Food Cures For Physical Pain

12 Major Food Cures For Physical Pain

For millennia, human beings have treated physical ailments with herbs and food cures, long before there were grocery stores stocked with ibuprofen and antacids. While modern medicine certainly has its benefits, sometimes the best solution is a natural one. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Here’s a look at tried-and-true remedies for common aches and pains. This list provides food cures that target the cause of pain, and heal the body from within.

1.  Aching Joints

Fruit Salad

    Pineapple – When joint pain flares up, reach for a fresh pineapple. This fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps the body process nutrients, reduce inflammation, and support joint function. Dice up a pineapple to make a fruit salad and add a healthy punch to relieve joint pain.

    RECIPE:

    1. Rinse apple, strawberries, grapes, and blackberries.
    2. Mix 2 cups of diced fresh pineapple, 2 diced bananas, 1 diced cored Fuji apple, 1 cup of diced cantaloupe, 1 cup of diced strawberries, 1 cup of seedless grapes, and 1 cup of blueberries. Serve in 1-cup portions.

    2.  Stomach Aches

    Ginger Mint Tea

      Homemade Ginger Mint Tea – Stomachaches caused by motion sickness, nausea, indigestion, and gas can be relieved with ginger. Containing a substance that relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract, ginger allays the symptoms of stomach pain. Mint also relieves stomach cramps and bloating, and the combination of both ginger and mint will settle your stomach quickly.

      RECIPE:

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      1. Slice 1 inch of peeled ginger into thin medallions
      2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add slices and 2 mint leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes.
      3. Pour in a cup and add honey and lemon to taste. Serve.

      3.  Leg Cramps

      Spinach White Bean Salad

        Spinach White Bean Salad – For any muscle cramps, this salad is packed with essential nutrients to ward off the pain and reinvigorate your muscles with the vitamins they’re lacking: potassium, magnesium, and protein.

        RECIPE:

        1. For each serving, slice 1 Roma tomato, 1 hardboiled egg, and 1/8 red onion. Add to 2 cups of washed baby spinach.
        2. Add 1/2 cup of washed and drained white beans.
        3. Add desired dressing and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Toss. Serve.

        4.  Heartburn

        Banana Oatmeal

          Banana Almond Oatmeal – Heartburn is caused by acid reflux rising and irritating the esophagus, but there are foods to neutralize the acid and relieve the pain. Banana oatmeal cooked with almond milk combines three key ingredients for combatting heartburn: high-fiber oatmeal to absorb the acid, alkaline acidic neutralizer almond milk, and low-acidic bananas that will coat your throat and provide relief.

          RECIPE:

          1. Whisk in saucepan 1 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of almond extract, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and half of a mashed banana. Bring to a boil.
          2. Add 1/2 cup of rolled oats and simmer until oats are tender, 5-7 minutes.
          3. Pour oatmeal in a bowl, and slice up remaining half of banana. Serve.

          5.  Urinary Tract Infection

          Blueberries

            Unsweetened Probiotic Yogurt with Blueberries – The compounds in the probiotic yogurt help fight infection and reestablish the healthy bacterial balance. Unsweetened is best, as simple sugars can negate yogurt’s benefits. Mix in blueberries, which are loaded with antioxidants and have been shown to prevent E. Coli bacteria, a frequent cause of UTIs, from adhering to the bladder wall.

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            RECIPE:

            1. Prepare 1 cup of probiotic yogurt and stir in 1/2 cup blueberries. Serve.
            2. Eat 2 to 3 times daily until symptoms improve.

            6.  Muscle Inflammation 

            Trail Mix

              Trail Mix – When you’re on the go but need a snack, pack up a trail mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and dark chocolate to relieve aches caused by muscle inflammation. Walnuts lower the body’s C-reactive protein which causes inflammation. Almonds and cashews contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are also anti-inflammatory, while dried fruits and dark chocolate carry anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are packed with vitamins and healthy fats, and add a subtle variety to the mix. This is the perfect post-workout snack when you’re feeling the burn.

              RECIPE:

              1. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of walnuts, 2 cups of cashews, 1 cup of slivered toasted almonds, 1 cup of dried apricots, 1 cup of dried papaya, 1 cup dried pineapple, 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips.
              2. Divide into 1/2- to 1-cup servings and store in small Ziploc bags. Serve.

              7.  Headaches

              Cherries

                Tart Cherry Smoothie – Headaches can be caused by a number of sources, including but not limited to: vitamin and electrolyte deficiencies, hormonal fluctuations, muscle tension, stress, low blood sugar, and dehydration. One food that can cure your headache pain regardless of cause is the cherry. Packed with melatonin and polyphenol, cherries convert to nitric oxide in the blood and serve to relax muscles and blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow. Blend them into a smoothie with other nutrient-packed ingredients, and you’ll feel healthier, hydrated, and better in no time.

                RECIPE:

                1. Blend 2 cups of seedless tart cherries, 1 cup of washed chopped kale, 1 banana, 2 cups of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
                2. Add ice and water to obtain desired consistency. Serve.

                8.  Arthritis

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                Salmon

                  Cooked Salmon – The benefits of salmon and other freshwater fish have been repeatedly reconfirmed by scientists and nutritionists alike. Salmon in particular is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and enable better joint movement for arthritis patients. Garlic, olive oil, basil, and lemon also have anti-inflammatory properties, and cooking the recipe below on a regular basis can alleviate some of the joint stiffness and allow for more mobility to ease arthritic pain.

                  RECIPE:

                  1. Create a marinade of 2 minced garlic cloves, 6 tablespoons of light olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Marinate 2 6 oz. salmon fillets for at least 1 hour.
                  2. With the oven at 375° F, place marinated fillets in aluminum foil and seal. Set in a glass dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until salmon easily flakes. Plate and serve.

                  9.  Sore Throats

                  Chamomile Tea

                    Chamomile tea with honey and lemon – For over 5,000 years, the properties of chamomile have been recognized and used to cure the body’s ailments. To heal a sore throat, chamomile helps kill bacteria and serves as an anti-inflammatory to soothe aches or rawness resulting from a cold or cough. Add honey for its healing properties and lemon to inhibit viruses and bacteria.

                    RECIPE:

                    1. Boil 1 cup of water.
                    2. Add 1 slice of lemon and 1 tablespoon of honey.
                    3. For an extra boost, use 2 teabags in your cup for added potency. Serve.

                    10. Skin Irritation

                    Basil

                      Basil – For sunburn, insect bites, or pimples, the naturally occurring oils and compounds found in basil can soothe and speed up healing. Basil is naturally antibacterial and disinfecting, and the camphene cools the skin, suppressing any itchiness from bites or irritation. Its cleansing properties clear out pores to cure and prevent pimples, and it boasts an anti-aging property that helps reverse damage caused by free radicals as well.

                      RECIPE:

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                      1. Crush 1 cup of fresh basil leaves and add 1 tablespoon of water for sunburns, or lemon juice for bites and pimples
                      2. Apply paste to skin for 30 minutes. Rinse off.

                      11. Tissue Inflammation

                      Guacamole

                        Chips and Guacamole – Avocados, garlic, and cayenne pepper hold properties that fight inflammation and ease pain. Avocados especially carry a concentrated amount of carotenoids, which help to protect and strengthen skin, tissue, and cells for better health and function. Mix them all together with a few other ingredients, and you have a delicious and popular snack.

                        RECIPE:

                        1. In a medium bowl, mash together 3 peeled and pitted mashed avocados, juice of 1 lime, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
                        2. Mix in 1/2 cup of diced onion, 2 diced Roma plum tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and 1 pinch of ground cayenne pepper.
                        3. Let meld for an hour. Serve with high-fiber corn chips.

                        12. General Aches and Pains

                        Water

                          Water – Overall lethargy and malaise can often be relieved by simply drinking water. Staying properly hydrated has been shown to diminish the pain associated with migraines, muscle aches, joint stress, constipation, and other ailments. If the human body is a well-oiled machine, then water is its oil.

                          Featured photo credit: Take Back Your Health Conference 2015 Los Angeles/TakeBackYourHealthConference via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                          How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                          How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                          Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                          To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                          Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                          1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                          Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                          Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                          To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                          2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                          Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                          If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                          Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                          3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                          Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                          Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                          4. Feed Your Brain

                          Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                          This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                          Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                          Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                          5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                          According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                          Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                          Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                          6. Write it Down

                          If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                          It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                          You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                          7. Listen to Music

                          Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                          8. Visual Concepts

                          In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                          Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                          Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                          9. Teach Someone Else

                          Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                          Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                          10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                          Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                          So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                          Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                          More About Boosting Memory

                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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