Curing common ailments with food
Eating the right stuff can help you feel better when you are suffering from a health issue
Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions are anti-bacterial and they have antiseptic properties.
Make a nourishing soup with six onions, a whole garlic, a 2.5cm piece of grated fresh ginger and cayenne pepper mixed into a vegetable or chicken stock.
You can also add lemongrass. You may have to leave out the cayenne pepper when making it for young children.
Lemon and ginger herbal tea
Make your own soothing lemon and ginger herbal tea by finely chopping a 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger and standing it for 15 minutes in boiling water that has a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly chopped spring onions. Strain and sip.
Drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice every three hours can help with fever.
Orange juice is rich in vitamin C and a great source of energy, enhancing your immunity to fight the illness.
Migraines are linked to food intolerances, internal toxicity and sometimes, the menstrual cycle. They can also be a sign of liver congestion. Include turmeric, which contains curcumin, and fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in your diet.
Curcumin and omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, while the latter is an anti-coagulant as well, naturally thinning the blood and reducing the severity of migraines.
Eating three servings a week is recommended.
Avoid mucus-producing foodstuff such as full-fat milk, cheese, chocolate, white bread, pastries and anything that contains white flour and milk.
Drink plenty of freshly blended juices, especially cucumber, carrot, parsley, kale and apple, which are cleansing.
Elderflower tea can also help to reduce congestion in the nose.
Having a teaspoon of manuka honey before each meal helps to coat the throat.
It also has antiseptic properties - the higher the Unique Manuka Factor rating, the greater the level of anti-bacterial activity.
If the cough is making you feel tight-chested and congested, try adding horseradish, cayenne pepper or ginger to your meals.
As for whooping cough, tea made from fresh thyme can provide relief.
Pain is associated with inflammation.
To reduce inflammation, bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, curcumin from turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are highly recommended.
You can easily include them in your cooking.
If your joint pain is associated with high uric acid or gout, cherries or cherry juice extract are best to help mobilise the uric acid out of the joints to be excreted in urine.
Eat at least one tablespoon of flaxseeds, or sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds, a day. They are rich in the essential fats that are vital for healthy joints. Hazelnuts, cashews, almonds and walnuts are great options too.
Blend two tablespoons of each nut for a minute before transferring the mixture to an air-tight jar to store in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle over cereals, fruit salads or yogurt for an easy way to eat more of the nuts daily.
Consume more green vegetables that are high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, such as spinach and kai lan.
They can reduce and prevent dysmenorrhea (excessive uterine muscle contractions), in addition to minimising the irritable feelings that usually accompany menstrual cramps.
Dark green vegetables also contain vitamin K, a necessary substance for coagulation.
Try to avoid caffeine because it can increase discomfort.
Instead, opt for ginger tea to ease nausea and bloating.
Camomile tea can also relieve tension and eliminate muscle spasms, reducing anxiety.
FOR SORE THROAT
Crush fresh sage or thyme and steep in almost-boiling water. Allow to cool before gargling it.
Sage is anti-inflammatory, and it eases the soreness.
You can also consume bee propolis or use an echinacea spray, as both are antiseptic.
Flaxseeds contain a blend of insoluble and soluble fibres, which bulk the stool, encouraging it to move gently through the bowel.
Eat more fermented foods, such as yogurt, miso and tempeh. They contain friendly bacteria that can relieve constipation.
FOR THE SLEEP-DEPRIVED
Serotonin is a brain chemical that the body produces to help reduce anxiety and improve quality of sleep.
It is made from a constituent of protein called tryptophan.
You can include more sources of B vitamins, such as fish, chicken, beans, avocados and wheat germ, in your diet to boost the production of serotonin.
Some people find that eating a banana an hour before they go to sleep helps them sleep longer, as the fruit is a good source of tryptophan.
It is also a good idea to have lettuce at night as it contains the natural sedative lactucarium, which encourages deeper sleep.
Avoid having cheese during dinner, as it contains amino acids that can keep you awake.
This article is adapted from Her World Plus (www.herworldplus.com)