Diet can be a funny thing. To play it safe, it's always a good idea to think of food as fuel, but it can be a reward and a comfort, too. It can also be great for what ails you. Do you know what foods will tame that ringing in your ears or help you remember where you left the car keys? Let's see how much you know about the healing and restorative properties of some popular foods. It may change the way you and eat!
Often called the "rich man's disease," there appears to be a link between eating lots of red meat and drinking liquor and beer that lead to an increased risk for gout. Although genetic factors may contribute to the condition, reducing the amount of meat, fish, dairy and alcohol in your diet could help reduce the number and severity of future gout attacks. It's possible that dietary changes could prevent gout altogether.
Anthocyanin, the phytochemical that gives some fruits and vegetables their rich purple or red coloration, is good brain food. It's abundant in beets, blueberries and grapes. Other good sources are apples, eggplant and cherries.
Eggs, avocados and spinach contain high concentrations of vitamin A and lutein, both of which play an important role in eye health. Other foods high in lutein and/or vitamin A are kale, carrots and broccoli. Nutrients that promote eye health are lycopene (abundant in tomatoes), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in some fish.
This one was easy. Eating oatmeal regularly may help reduce your cholesterol level. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium. It may also help prevent some cancers. Start your day with oatmeal, and try to fit in some of these other heart healthy options: almonds, spinach, blueberries, salmon, carrots and tomatoes.
You probably already know that caffeine is the enemy of sleep, but you may not realize that eating a banana, a handful of almonds or a few cherries a couple of hours before bedtime will help you get those zzzs you've been craving.
The answer is sodium. Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services place a daily maximum consumption for sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day. If you're older, have hypertension or are African-American, then you should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
Culprits that can increase tinnitus symptoms are chocolate, alcohol and caffeine. For natural relief, try foods high in zinc like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and spinach.
Oysters, pumpkin seeds and beans contain some of the important nutrients bones need. Oysters are an excellent source of the zinc necessary for a healthy immune system, and pumpkins and beans both contain bone-building magnesium.
You can help keep your nails in good condition by eating nutrient-rich foods like dark, leafy greens, carrots and almonds. Nails need sulfur, silicon, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, zinc and other nutrients to stay healthy. They also need lots of water for good hydration.
That would be celery, green tea and wasabi. Celery gives your mouth a double whammy. All that chewing helps produce bacteria-busting saliva and also massages your gums. Green tea contains catechins that kill plaque-producing bacteria, and the isothiocyanates that make wasabi taste so darned hot kill plenty of bacteria, too.