While the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t usually taken literally—it should be. Apples, like a lot of other common foods you’ll find in your fridge, are packed with healing nutrients that can save you a trip to the doctor the next time you’re not feeling so well. While us westerners often think of food as nourishing our bodies, we hardly ever look to it for medicinal purposes. However, for centuries different cultures such as the Chinese and American Indians have used food to help them feel better. And we are not just talking about eating food, but also utilizing it in tonics and salves—and even placing it on the body to help draw out toxins.
Despite the disconnect often experienced when thinking of the notion that food can heal, nearly every person can think of a food related remedy that has been passed down in her or his family. The interesting thing is that a lot of these “old wives tales,” as they are often called, actually work and have been backed up by science. Furthermore, with health care costs on the rise, now is the perfect time to explore how to utilize common foods to promote better health. So open your mind—and your fridge— and let’s get started looking at the healing powers of food.
Tomatoes – There are oodles of studies that show that the chemical that makes tomatoes red, known as lycopene, may lower the risk of cancer. Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium and Potassium and can be used topically to draw out toxins. Next time you have a breakout try rubbing fresh tomato juice on your skin during your cleansing process. Also, when you have a sore throat, try cutting a tomato in half and putting each side, juicy side down, on your neck where it hurts. This really works! You can also enjoy the healing benefits of tomatoes by making delicious sauces. Some of our favorite natural tomato products are made by Muir Glen.
Onions – Ahhh, the onion. Did you know that onions contain as many as 150 phytochemicals including quercetin which works to help to dispel free radicals in the body? Probably not, which is why you are reading this article in the first place, right? Anyway, the next time that you find yourself really stuffed up or feeling like you might have a touch of the flu, try making a huge pot of simple onion stew. First, find the biggest and deepest pot that you have and fill it with water until it’s about half full. Then cut 3 whole onions, put them in the pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the onions are tender. After you’ve removed it from the heat, check the temperature of the steam with your hand (don’t burn yourself!) When it’s not too hot, poor the onion broth into a cup and sip it slowly while continuing to inhale the wonderful, healing vapors. This simple remedy can help clear you up and get you back on track.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Without going into a long narrative about how Apple Cider Vinegar works to help the body, we’ll save you a lot of boring reading by stating simply that it has been suggested that it works because it helps balance alkaline levels in the body. (Western diets are often more acid than alkaline…thus more alkaline can be ideal). If you find yourself eating out a few times a week, try making Apple Cider Vinegar your new best friend. After eating heavy restaurant food—or just something that didn’t quite agree with you—put a tablespoon of Unfiltered Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (like Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar) in a large glass of water and sip it very, very slowly. Don’t be surprised if by the time you are finished your tummy ache is completely gone. Apple Cider Vinegar is also a wonderful natural acne treatment.