Consumer Reports: Foods that heal

We all know how important it is to eat healthy in preventing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. But certain foods can have a more immediate benefit in helping other, everyday ailments. Consumer Reports has some suggestions for what to eat and when.

When Grace Choi was pregnant with her daughter, Kasper, she confirmed what research already shows: Ginger can help ease morning sickness.

"To combat the nausea, I tried everything -- I tried essential oils, I tried saltines and I found ginger to be really helpful," Choi said.

If you want to cure what ails you, Consumer Reports suggests looking in the kitchen first. What you find, may provide good healing power.

"Some foods do have medicinal properties and it's not just hype, it's actually backed up by science," said Consumer Reports Health Editor Patricia Calvo.

Have a headache? Try drinking a tall glass of water. Dehydration is a common cause of headaches.

Nibbling on an apple and a handful of walnuts, may also help.

"It's the combination of carbs, healthy fat and protein. That prevents a dip in blood sugar, which is another headache trigger," Calvo said.

If you've been having trouble sleeping, you may have already tried warm milk, but studies suggest kiwi fruit, which are rich in folate, a 'B' vitamin, may help the brain produce sleep-inducing chemicals.

It's also good to know you can zap garlic breath by eating lettuce, apple or raw mint leaves. All three destroy sulfur compounds and neutralize the odor garlic causes.

And although no foods have proven to shorten a cold, chicken soup, and frankly, any soup, can hydrate you, helping your lymph system flush out the virus.

Which means as Grace found out, maybe grandma was right all along.

If you battle heartburn and acid reflux, you can try stopping the burning sensation by eating a banana. Some research suggests banana may act as a natural antacid.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2017. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
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