MOST of us head to the chemist when we’re feeling under the weather but experts suggest that when it comes to many common ailments, the solution could already be inside your kitchen cupboards.
A new study by Diabetes UK reveals capsaicin, which is found in chilli peppers, can wipe out foot pain – and that’s just the start.
According to the research, the chemical compound can “block pain signals from nerves when applied to skin, making them less sensitive to pain”.
And peppers aren’t the only food that can help healing.
Your kitchen could hold a cure for a sore throat, blocked nose – or even a bad back.
SARAH MORTON looks at 12 foodstuffs and drinks that could do you the world of good . . .
Sardines for broken bones
THE little fish may have a bad reputation for an overbearing taste and smell but they can help our bones heal quickly.
Sardines contain some of the highest amounts of Omega 3 – which is proven to reduce fracture risk – of any fish.
They are also packed with vitamin D and calcium, both ideal for bone strength.
Coffee for headaches
COFFEE lovers rejoice, a cup of Joe could be a great cure for headaches.
They can occur when blood vessels in the brain start to swell, giving you that thumping feeling.
Caffeine contains properties which narrow the vessels and therefore help bring down the swelling and the pain.
Just don’t overdo it – too much will have the opposite effect.
Garlic bread for a sore throat
THE smelly plant is a superfood for a reason.
It is packed with anti-inflammatory properties which help to heal all sorts, including symptoms of a sore throat.
While most foods would be hard to swallow when your gullet is on fire, soften some garlic bread in soup for a delicious way to ease the pain.
Kale for cuts
IF you find yourself bleeding profusely thanks to a tiny scrape, it could be that you haven’t been eating your kale.
The leafy green contains huge amounts of vitamin K, which helps blood cells to clot quicker.
If you’re not a fan of kale, other greens such as spinach and broccoli have similar properties.
Apple and bananas for bowel problems
IF you’ve got a dicky tum, head straight for the fruit bowl.
An unripened banana can combat diarrhoea, thanks to its resistant starch, which goes through your small intestine undigested and feeds the friendly bacteria in the large intestine.
Apples can alleviate constipation thanks to their high soluble fibre content.
Milk for conjunctivitus
GUZZLING the white stuff is ideal in helping to combat this nasty eye infection thanks to its abundance of vitamin A, an anti-inflammatory that is proven to help with eye health and vision.
If your eyes are itching and red, dab on some cotton wool soaked in milk for a soothing effect.
Ginger tea for fungal nail infections
GINGER has antifungal properties so is ideal for fighting fungus in the nails.
Infections can occur if the toes or fingers are too warm or damp, encouraging our natural fungus, candida, to grow too fast.
Add ginger to hot water for a palatable way to banish it.
Eggs for thinning hair
IF your locks are looking a little thinner these days, a cracking solution can be found in eggs.
They’re packed with protein and vitamins so when they are rubbed raw directly to the roots of the hair, they can infuse the follicles with their goodness, encouraging stronger growth.
Messy, but worth shelling out for.
Sweet potato for leg cramp
THERE is little worse than waking in the middle of the night with excruciating muscle spasms, but feasting on sweet potatoes can stop it happening too often.
The scrummy spuds are packed with potassium, which helps the body fight muscle weakness and cramps, so heat them up and get munching.
Olive oil for back pain
TO be more specific, extra virgin olive oil.
The early press contains compounds which work as a natural pain relief.
They have been shown to reduce inflammation in the spinal column while also helping with joint function.
You can find it in capsules or just get cooking with it or drizzle over salads and soups.
Delicious recipes are always calling out for it.
Porridge for eczema
OATS are rammed with natural anti-inflammatories and, as a result, have been used to help relieve itching and redness for centuries.
To help with eczema, which causes dry skin and scaly patches, add some porridge oats to your bath water and soak up their properties.
Celery juice for shingles
BLENDING a celery stick and drinking it is a fantastic way to get rid of shingles, an unpleasant virus that causes a burning rash.
Celery, along with many other incredible antioxidants, also contains a specific form of vitamin C which can seek out and destroy the painful symptoms.
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