Top 10 Kitchen Cures for Common Ailments
"In your kitchen right now, you most likely have treatments and preventatives to assist with symptoms of many things."
By popular demand we’ve got a very special live with Dr. Nancy Lin show today, talking about kitchen cures! Chronic headaches, joint aches and discomforts, high cholesterol or blood pressure or blood sugar — Dr. Nancy has kitchen remedies for all of them! Laugh and learn in Dr. Nancy’s kitchen and take home her Top 10 Kitchen Cures for what ails us.
- 01:48: The Down Sides Of Medication
- 07:03: The Prescription Drug Problem
- 10:45: Wound Healing
- 12:57: Joint Pain
- 16:25: Inflammation
- 23:11: Migraines
- 27:12: Blood Pressure
- 28:31: Cholesterol
- 31:04: High Blood Sugar
- 34:16: Liver Health
- 37:25: Fight Infection
- 38:59: Cancer Prevention
- 42:41: Wrap-Up
The Down Sides of Medication
Many people are relying on medications to relieve things like high blood pressure and chronic headaches today. And as most of us know, in many cases repeatedly taking some medications can have detrimental and sometimes even toxic effects on your body over time. Of course, there are times when medication is important or even necessary, so it’s important to note that you should always check with your doctor before making changes to your medications.
But if there’s a way to avoid medication side effects, we all want that, right? Most notable among possible medication issues is the fact that some medications can affect your kidneys, liver, or other organs over time. The dangers of liver damage, namely what’s known as toxic liver disease, is usually the biggest concern. If you watched Dr. Nancy’s recent episode on alcohol addiction, you know a little about the liver and what its function is within the body. The liver filters things like supplements, prescription medications, and alcohol before it pumps fresh, clean blood back out into the body. Sometimes, toxins form and cause the liver to become inflamed. This can cause headaches, diarrhea, fever, nausea, stomach pain and even vomiting. At its most severe, toxic liver disease can cause scarring, known as cirrhosis.
One study found that 15% of those who take NSAIDs, like Aleve, for chronic pain took more than the recommended dose. These types of over-the-counter medications can cause digestion issues, heartburn and damage to your kidneys, depending upon the type of medication.
Did you know that a prescription medication could also be a source of (or at least a contributing factor to) any joint pain you may be experiencing? A side effect of the antibiotic Levaquin for example, which is often prescribed for sinus infections, as well as cholesterol and blood pressure medication, osteoporosis medication, and even some asthma inhalers and antidepressants can all cause achy, painful joints.
So why are we telling you all this? Because today we’re going to share Dr. Nancy’s Top 10 Kitchen Cures for addressing common ailments. Of course we can’t classify these things as actual cures, but they can sure help in most cases!
In your kitchen right now, you most likely have treatments and preventatives to assist with symptoms of things like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, inflammation, headaches, and more. A few of these remedies may surprise you!
The Prescription Drug Problem
Did you know that almost half the U.S. population has taken some sort of prescription drug within the last month? Nearly three-quarters of doctor’s visits involve some sort of drug therapy and nearly every emergency room visit results in some type of drug being administered.
Antibiotics, especially, are the most over-prescribed medication in the United States. In fact, doctors who saw patients complaining of a sore throat prescribed antibiotics to 60% of those patients when only 10% of those patients actually had a sore throat due to strep throat. Too many people are taking medications that they don’t even need. It’s a major problem and when it comes to antibiotics it can have global ramifications!
That’s right, in addition to toxic liver disease, kidney damage, digestive problems, and joint pain, the over-prescribing of medications can cause bacteria in our systems to become resistant to antibiotics, which can result in more severe health issues and even death. What happens is the bacteria the antibiotics are meant to kill adapt to the medication and mutate into what are known as superbugs.
That’s just one example. However overall it’s important to explore healthy remedies to achieve holistic health whenever possible. By treating something like headaches through diet, and then coupling that with better sleep and a reduction in stress, your overall health will improve – not just your headaches.
Top 10 Kitchen Cures
Say you have a nasty cut and you don’t have any antibiotic ointment on-hand. Grab a sweet potato! Sweet potatoes are a great natural remedy for wound healing because just one contains over the daily recommended dose of vitamin A, which is excellent for tissue repair and reducing inflammation. Eating sweet potatoes regularly can also help boost immunity and help strengthen your skin, which can help prevent infection by keeping viruses and bacteria out in the event you should cut yourself.
Cashews are also great for wound healing because they contain zinc, another immune booster and natural inflammation fighter. The zinc found in a serving size of cashews produces enough support to help jump-start the production of skin cells, something that can help a cut heal faster.
Believe it or not, broccoli, salmon, and green tea are all excellent preventatives for joint pain. When you eat a delicious broccoli floret, a compound called sulforaphane is released. Sulforaphane is reported to block the enzymes in the body responsible for joint pain.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has inflammation fighting properties that can not only alleviate symptoms for those of you already suffering from joint pain but, along with other foods on Dr. Nancy’s anti-inflammatory diet, can help prevent future occurrences.
Last on our list of joint pain preventers is green tea. Green tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or ECCG for short. EGCG actually blocks the production of the molecules in the body that are responsible for causing most joint pains Make sure you add a bit of lemon to your green tea — this prevents that EGCG from breaking down in your stomach and helps maximize absorption within the body.
This is something we talk about a lot around here! If you’ve caught some of Dr. Nancy’s other shows then you know she loves to give out tips on how to reduce inflammation through the foods we eat, the amount of exercise we do, and the amount of sleep we get every night. Today, we’re going to highlight two foods you should be eating right now to help keep chronic inflammation at bay.
The first one is tart cherry juice. This one is really growing in popularity nationally. It’s important to make sure your tart cherry juice is all-natural. It shouldn’t contain any additives or artificial sweeteners. One study found that people who drank tart cherry juice every day for three weeks saw a reduction in inflammation. This is due, in large part to the extraordinary amount of antioxidants found in this tasty beverage. Tart cherries are also naturally high in melatonin, so, as a bonus, tart cherry juice might also help you sleep better!
The second unsung hero is another food that helps fight inflammation — and that’s walnuts. Walnuts are beneficial for helping boost brain power partly because the antioxidants found in them work to reduce inflammation particularly found in brain cells. Eating may help slow down the brain’s natural aging process and potentially ward off more serious mental decline concerns.
There are a number of other whole food options we recommend as a way of relieving symptoms of inflammation. While you should continue to look to whole food sources, we know that isn’t always as easy as it sounds every day.
So for your health in general, you can supplement with Smarter Curcumin as a way to further protect against inflammation throughout your body.
You’ve probably heard of curcumin if you watch our show regularly, but, if you’re new to curcumin, it is the concentrated active ingredient inside in turmeric. When formulated properly it can have an amazing effect on your body. In fact, it’s an amazing 250 times more potent inflammation-fighter than Turmeric itself. A large part of the inflammation-fighting effect of curcumin comes from is its ability to inhibit key enzymes in the body known to promote inflammation.
Did you know that migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world? In the United States alone, one out of every four households has at least one person living with migraines.
With that being said, it’s not a bad idea to have ginger, almonds, and maybe even a little organic coffee stocked in your pantry. Although Dr. Nancy recommends avoiding coffee, she does make an exception for migraine sufferers.
Coffee has what’s called vasoconstrictive properties, and can cause blood vessels to constrict, thus relieving headache pain. Drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee at the early onset of a headache may bring relief. It’s not a good idea, however, to drink coffee daily, as that can cause you to become dependent and the caffeine can then become the cause of your headache pain.
Almonds contain loads of magnesium, something else that’s been proven to alleviate headache pain. Magnesium works by essentially plugging the receptors within the body responsible for feeling pain. Are you a migraine sufferer? Then get to snacking on some delicious almonds!
Ginger is like nature’s aspirin. It’s has such inflammation-fighting properties (making it another kitchen cure for chronic inflammation) that it’s been shown in some studies to work as effectively as certain migraine medications.
Believe it or not, dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure. Eating dark chocolate that contains 50% cocoa or higher has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which can cause the blood vessels to dilate and lower blood pressure as a result.
In addition to lowering blood pressure, eating dark chocolate can also lower cholesterol.
Additionally, eating 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber daily can lower your cholesterol by 5%? Other foods that help accomplish this include artichokes and sesame oil. Cooked artichokes are high in soluble fiber, which turns into a gel-like substance once it’s digested, binds with cholesterol, and helps eliminate it from the body.
Sesame oil not only adds a delicious nutty flavor to stir fry, but it contains phytosterols that help block bad cholesterol from being absorbed into the body.
High Blood Sugar
Have high blood sugar? Pop some blueberries topped with cinnamon or throw some lentils into your next soup or stew. These three powerhouses can all help blood sugar levels right where they need to be.
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that stimulate insulin activity and help reduce blood sugar, as well as your risk of getting diabetes.
Studies have shown that consuming half a teaspoon of cinnamon lowered blood sugar by 24%. Cinnamon imitates the effects of insulin, which can increase the rate at which glucose reaches cells throughout the body. This helps to lower blood sugar. Additionally, cinnamon can increase insulin sensitivity, something else that lowers blood sugar, by increasing insulin’s efficiency at getting glucose into the body’s cells.
And our last blood sugar reducer is lentils. Lentils can lower blood sugar levels by 20%, according to one study. This is because they improve the way your body responds to carbohydrates. Lentils slow digestion, and, as a result, slow the rate at which blood sugar is released into the bloodstream. Lentils can, therefore, not only keep blood sugar levels from skyrocketing, but they can also reduce your risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes.
Earlier we talked about how taking too many prescription medications can damage your liver. In light of that, how about we give you some kitchen cures that actually promote your liver’s health? Three big ones are eggs, Brazil nuts, and Brussels sprouts.
Eggs contain choline, which produce an agent that is vital in detoxing the liver.
Did you know that eating only one or two Brazil nuts gives you your daily dose of selenium? And did you also know that selenium is essential in helping maintain the health of your liver? There is a detoxification enzyme called glutathione peroxidase that need selenium in order to do its job in your body, so eating Brazil nuts can help ensure that glutathione peroxidase is doing its job in helping keep your liver functioning at its best. Plus, one study found that people with high levels of selenium were less likely to get liver cancer.
Finally, Brussels sprouts can help protect the liver from damage because they also contain sulforaphane, something that boosts the livers detoxifying powers and decreases the enzymes that can cause permanent damage. Roasted Brussels sprouts are so easy to make, too! Just cut them in half, put some olive oil and garlic on them, put them in a roasting pan in the oven, and cook for 20 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and voila!
Get yourself a beautiful plate of carrots and spinach! Not only are they bright and colorful, they’re essential kitchen cures in helping fight infection! The vitamin A in carrots are responsible for boosting immunity, as well as keeping your eyesight nice and strong. Spinach boasts lots of B vitamins which one study found triggered immune cells to fight infection when synthesized with bacteria and yeast.
Foods like garlic, cabbage, and kale are excellent for preventing certain types of cancer. Garlic contains a compound called allyl sulfur. That, coupled with other compounds found in this member of the lily family, have shown to reportedly slow the growth of cancer cells and is particularly beneficial toward preventing stomach and prostate cancer. When you peel garlic, it releases an enzyme called alliinase which kicks off a series of chemical reactions that produce diallyl disulfide, or DADS. DADS is considered a crucial component in fighting cancer. It is important to wait approximately 15 minutes between peeling and cooking your garlic. Studies have found that DADS is lost when cooking garlic immediately after peeling it.
Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and kale contain something called glucosinolates, sulfur-containing chemicals that, when broken down, have been found to prevent and reduce the formation of cancer cells.
Cranberries are great, too, but they tend to be too tart to consume without adding some sort of artificial sweetener. If you can take the taste, you’ll find they reduce oxidative stress — an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals within the body which is linked to many illnesses. They boost your immune system and also help prevent urinary tract infections.
Alright, we covered a lot of ground today with Dr. Nancy’s top 10 kitchen cures! We gave you a laundry list (or should we say grocery list?) of foods that can help cure or prevent almost everything that ails you, including:
- Sweet potatoes and cashews for wound healing
- Salmon and green tea for joint pain
- Almonds, ginger, and coffee for migraines
- Eggs and Brazil nuts for liver health
- Blueberries, cinnamon, and lentils to reduce blood sugar
- Dark chocolate to lower blood pressure
- Carrots to fight infection
- Artichokes to lower cholesterol
- Cabbage, garlic, and cranberries to help build your immune system and maybe even help prevent some cancers
It’s so important to take care of yourself, not just through the foods you eat, but by getting enough sleep every night, exercising regularly, and implementing effective stress-management tools into your life. Doing all these things in accordance with one another will help keep your body functioning properly. Making sure you have an infection- and disease-fighting arsenal in your kitchen is the first step!