Not every type of ailment or illness needs to be treated with medication. In fact, many types of conditions may be effectively treated naturally by consuming beneficial foods. Considering the high costs and long lists of side effects associated with many types of medication, choosing to treat your condition with food—at least before resorting to medication—can be a healthier, and more cost-effective solution.
Food as Medication
Think about it, humans have been getting sick for as long as we have existed, and until recently, we relied largely on food to treat our ailments. Over the centuries we’ve developed a wealth of knowledge regarding what types of foods work for what conditions, and have been able to treat many conditions naturally. Only in recent years has medication progressed to the point where it can be prescribed for just about anything, but just because medication is available, does that mean that we should always take it? Rather than immediately turning to medication the next time you are ill, consider replacing it with one of these seven natural food solutions instead. You’re likely to experience positive results, and aid both your health and your wallet in the process.
1. Cinnamon for Balanced Blood Sugar
A recent study showed that people who consume cinnamon daily have improved insulin function and increased levels of a peptide that helps to prevent overeating, which can lead to spikes in blood sugar. Another study showed that supplementing with 500 mg of a water-soluble cinnamon extract regulates blood sugar in people with insulin resistance.
2. Salmon Treats Inflammation
By now you have probably heard that salmon—and some other types of fish of a similar nature—are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help aid good health in a multitude of ways. Among those natural benefits, these essential fats play a critical role in treating inflammation, regardless of where it may occur in the body. Furthermore, the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help with autoimmune conditions, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and even multiple sclerosis, among many other benefits.
3. Peppermint Treats IBS
Millions of people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is often triggered by the large quantities of processed foods that make their way into many modern diets. Rather than treating this condition with medication, consider targeting it with peppermint, a natural food that can be found in supplement and essential oil forms, as well as in some teas. Not only is peppermint more effective as compared to most medical treatments of IBS, it is also less toxic, and may be used to treat abdominal cramps as well.
4. Ginger Treats Menstrual Cramping
Menstrual cramps are another type of cramping that may be treated naturally with food instead of through medicinal avenues. Available in capsule or chew form, and as a powder, ginger may be just as effective as common pain killers, such as ibuprofen, in treating menstrual cramps. Plus, unlike the negative side effects that may accompany pain killers, ginger actually adds the benefit of positive side effects, as it is also useful in treating nausea and abdominal discomfort when taken in tea form.
5. Buckwheat Honey Treats Coughing
Over-the-counter cough syrups may present problems beyond their intended purpose, especially when used by young children. Fortunately, buckwheat honey is a wonderful alternative to these types of medications and others for its ability to naturally treat a nagging cough. This type of honey contains beneficial antioxidants and works to soothe and coat a sore throat to offer protection and treatment without the negative side effects of medicinal treatments.
6. Hibiscus Tea Treats High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a growing problem in the United States and around the world, with more and more people being affected by this disease every year, and the list of medications for this condition continues to grow. However, hibiscus tea has a strong anti-hypertensive effect, based primarily on the high concentration of anthocyanins it contains, which are believed to help lower blood pressure. Hibiscus tea is much less costly than the vast supply of medications on the market, and marks a great starting point for treating high blood pressure naturally.
Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.