Healthy Foods that Heal the Body

Healthy Foods that Heal the Body | Dr. Ali Ghahary

The human body can suffer all sorts of damage both internally and externally – from gut problems (such as GERD) to skin issues (such as sun burn or eczema) and other problems that arise from poor lifestyle habits (such as smoking and lack of exercise.) There are certain things you can do in effort to mitigate many of the health problems you experience, including adding some specific healthy foods to your diet while eliminating others.

If you’re someone who eats a lot of junk food (i.e. candy, fried or processed foods) then you put yourself at an increased risk of inflammation, which can contribute to pain. If inflammation is an issue that you have been dealing with, you can help counteract it by adding more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, such as salmon, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Other foods that are great as part of an anti-inflammatory diet include green, leafy vegetables, and cooking with things like garlic, onions and olive oil can also be quite beneficial in reducing inflammation in your body.

If you’re a smoker, you are likely aware of just how much damage you are doing to the body – especially your lungs. While smoking can be a tough habit to break, there are some helpful tips that you can find online about smoking cessation. Your family physician may also be able to give you some information on smoking cessation, including support groups, as well as potentially recommend medication. In general, the function of our lungs will also decline as we age, but according to a study done by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, that decline was found to be much slower in individuals who ate tomatoes every day. This is because tomatoes contain an antioxidant known as lycopene, which is known to help reduce cellular damage that is caused by different harmful environmental factors, including cigarette smoke. Tomatoes can be easily incorporated into your everyday meals, from pasta sauce to sandwiches, salads, and more.

While fatigue can potentially be the result of other health issues, many of us suffer from it due to long hours at work, school, etc. There are also certain foods that have been known to contribute to fatigue, such as pasta (due to carbohydrates, which can cause a rise in blood sugar levels followed by a crash in insulin levels), and, surprisingly, certain fruits like cherries and bananas. Cherries, for example, are a natural source of melatonin which is helpful for sleep; while bananas are high in magnesium, which also aids sleep. If you’re looking for a boost of energy, caffeine is one way to get it – however, certain foods such as beans, lemons, and eggs can also provide the body with extra fuel.

Experiencing body aches and pains? Nuts, such as almonds, may provide you with relief. They contain arginine, which is an amino acid that promotes the synthesis of collagen and helps the muscles to recover. Cottage cheese is also a great source of casein protein, which digests slowly and can help restore the muscles as you sleep. If sore muscles are something you’re dealing with, it’s recommended that you stay away from refined carbohydrates (such as sugar) as well as avoid drinking alcohol, as it can actually contribute to pain and even increase your risk of injury.

To keep your brain healthy and happy, things like blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, oranges and green tea can all be helpful – and even dark chocolate (but in moderation, of course.)