Feel Better Foods: Recipes That Double as Natural Remedies
When we're not feeling well, our first reaction is to head to the medicine cabinet. Whether it's a headache or sore throat that ails us, there’s probably a capsule, tablet, or syrup to fix it. The problem is that many over-the-counter drugs simply mask the symptoms of whatever is making us feel unwell. What’s more, these medications can have unwelcome side effects. While there is certainly a need for modern Western medicine in the treatment of many illnesses, often times the cure our bodies need can be found right in our own kitchens.
The practice of cooking and eating to cure an ailment is not an uncommon one around the world — it just isn't widely practiced in the United States. As scientific studies continue to publish results consistent with the idea that eating certain foods can help alleviate pain and inflammation, rid our bodies of toxins and bacteria, and ward off serious diseases like cancer, more Americans are turning to natural remedies. Likewise, more doctors, dietitians, and health professionals are agreeing that food should be our first course of treatment.
Keep your refrigerator and pantry stocked with a variety of fresh, wholesome foods (hormone-free and organic, if possible) and the next time you're feeling unwell, avoid the temptation to pop an over-the-counter pill; head to your kitchen instead. Whether you're suffering from the common cold, a headache, or post-workout joint pain, there's an all-natural way to cure it.
If you’re not sure how to get started, keep this list handy and use it as a guide the next time you’re not feeling well.
Avoid the temptation to disregard your mom’s advice about eating a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick — chicken soup has many of the things your body needs to heal. The broth will help you stay hydrated, the vegetables contain plenty of vitamins, and the onions have antibacterial properties. Do you eat your chicken soup with a squeeze of lemon juice? Even better: vitamin C can help reduce the duration of common cold. Click here for our best chicken soup recipes.
Ginger boasts a multitude of health benefits, including the capacity to reduce inflammation and pain. In one study, it proved to be a safe and effective treatment for frequent and mild headaches that can trigger more severe headaches in migraine sufferers. Try cooking with ginger or drinking ginger tea when you have a headache.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.