5 On Your Side

Nauseous? Sleepy? Try these healing foods

Posted February 27

— Whether you're nauseous, sleepy or have a headache, try these healing foods before reaching for the medicine cabinet.

Kiwi, for example, can help you sleep, and other foods can relieve common ailments like heartburn, upset stomachs and headaches.

Like many women, Grace Choi battled heartburn while she was pregnant.

"I tried everything," she said. "I tried essential oils and I tried saltines, then I found ginger to be really helpful."

Foods like ginger can even help chemotherapy-induced nausea, health experts say.

"Some foods do help, and it's not just hype -- it's actually backed up by science," said Patricia Calvo, a health editor at Consumer Reports.

The helpful list continues. A tall glass of water can make a headache caused by dehydration disappear, as can snacking on an apple and a handful of walnuts.

"It's the combination of carbs, healthy fat and protein," said Calvo. "That prevents a dip in blood sugar, which is another headache trigger."

Why does kiwi help you sleep? Health experts say the fuzzy fruit is rich in folate, a 'B' vitamin that may help the brain produce sleep-inducing chemicals.

Certain foods can banish bad breath, too. Experts recommend eating lettuce, an apple or raw mint leaves after enjoying a garlic-filled meal. According to officials, those foods destroy sulfur compounds in the mouth to neutralize the odor garlic causes.

Another healing food may sound like an old wives' tale, but it works too. Experts say that, although no foods are proven to shorten a cold, chicken soup and other hot broths can hydrate people battling illness, helping their lymph system flush out viruses.

Last but not least, bananas act like a natural antacid, helping to battle heartburn and acid reflux.

Of course, just like medicines, foods work differently for everyone, experts say.

It's worth a try, though -- so next time you're hit with insomnia, nausea or a migraine, try these natural remedies first.

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