Health - Cure ailments with food

Combat common ailments with these nutritious foods.

By Donna Fleming

It was Hippocrates, who declared, “Let food be thy medicine”. Some health problems may simply be caused by a lack of nutrients. Here’s a list of what to consume to overcome certain issues.

Problem: Stomach upsets
Solution: carrots
These can be due to a lack of good mucous in the gut. The key nutrient needed to develop this is vitamin A, and munching on a carrot every day can help increase your levels. Liver is also a good source.

Problem: Feeling tired and grumpy
Solution: eggs
Having a bad case of the grumps can be due to a myriad of reasons, but one thing to consider is an iron deficiency, especially if you also feel light-headed and look paler than usual. If you’re low on iron, you’ll have reduced levels of oxygen going to your brain. Eggs are a good source, along with red meat, nuts, green vegetables and sardines. Wash down your iron-rich fare with orange juice, or another source of vitamin C, to absorb it more efficiently.

Problem: aching body
Solution: salmon
Aches and pains could be the result of many different issues, but one possible cause is a lack of vitamin D. This helps to regulate the minerals calcium and phosphorus, which are important for developing and maintaining bone density and muscle mass. Not enough can also play a part in conditions like osteoporosis. Salmon is a good source, but the best way to absorb it is sunlight. In winter, try and get outdoors for 20 minutes a day. Don’t overdo it during the summer months,
as you could put yourself at risk of skin cancer.

Problem: Puffy ankles
Solution: bananas
If your ankles are puffy and swollen, the problem could be too much salt, which causes fluid retention. While it is important to cut down on your sodium intake, you can also get rid of the swelling by increasing your levels of potassium. Bananas are great, and so are tomatoes and spinach.

Problem: Cracks around the mouth
Solution: milk
Sores and cracks around your mouth could mean you are deficient in vitamin B2. This is needed for cell production and growth. Dairy products will help – studies show people who drink 250ml of milk every day are very unlikely to have a B2 shortage.

Problem: Peeling nails
Solution: nuts
Biotin provides strength to nails, according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre. The complex B vitamin helps your body process amino acids, carbohydrates and fats more efficiently, resulting in healthy nails, hair and skin. Foods rich in biotin include nuts, wheat germ, sardines, egg yolks and mushrooms.

Problem: dry skin
Solution: tomatoes
Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a high-carotenoid fruit. This may help slow down cellular damage from free radicals.

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