Empower Your Health: Using Foods As Medicine

Even if you have health insurance, you still have to spend money on co-pays, deductibles and the like before your coverage kicks in. This means that it’s a good idea to do everything you can to prevent a visit to the hospital, urgent care or the emergency room. As you’re exploring your options for health and homeowners insurance rates in an attempt to cut your costs without compromising on quality, do yourself and the rest of your family a favor and look into foods that double as medicine to remain in great health.

There are many foods that research has revealed are excellent assets to have when we are seeking to increase our overall health and well-being.  We’ve listed some of the most popular foods that have been used in medicinal ways throughout the ages.  These tried-and-true “medicine” foods may not be an end-all-cure-all but they are well known for their healing properties.

Use this guide as your starting point and, as always, be sure to consult your physician or dietitian prior to making any dramatic dietary changes.

Empower Your Health: Using Foods As Medicine

Pickled Foods

The next time you experience an extreme bout of diarrhea, reach for pickled or fermented foods like miso, poi, yogurt and pickled vegetables. What makes these selections so effective is the fact that they contain healthy bacteria that can get your gastrointestinal system back on track. Besides diarrhea, fermented and pickled foods are also ideal for allergies, eczema and irritable bowel syndrome.


If cardiovascular disease runs in your family, or if you’ve recently learned that you could be at risk of cardiovascular disease, reach for a bowl of almonds the next time you’re in the mood for a snack. Almonds have a robust amount of magnesium, copper, protein and fatty acids, all of which are great for preventing cardiovascular disease.


Ginger extract could be just what you need the next time you’re in pain. The University of Miami conducted a study that found that nearly two-thirds of individuals who suffered from constant knee pain experienced relief after taking ginger extract. The food is effective because it’s capable of blocking an inflammatory enzyme.

Ginger is easily added not only to a number of foods, but beverages as well. While you may not be able to stop taking pain medication entirely after consuming ginger, there’s a solid chance that you can at least cut back on the amount of medication that you take.

Buckwheat Honey

When cold and flu season roll around, stock up on buckwheat honey to keep from being struck with a nasty cough. Besides adults, you may feel better giving your child buckwheat honey if she or he is too young to take regular cough syrup.


You may experience a measure of relief from osteoarthritis knee pain by eating soy. Soy has isoflavones, which are anti-inflammatory plant hormones that make it an effective way to treat osteoarthritis. Just like with ginger, adding soy to your diet may not allow you to eliminate your use of pain medication entirely, but it could allow you to reduce the amount of medication you need.

One thing to bear in mind is the fact that it can take some time before soy starts to become effective on your pain, anywhere from two to three weeks, so be patient and keep at it.


It’s still true that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Diabetes, stroke and dementia are a few of the health complications that can be treated and prevented by eating apples. The fruit contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, potassium and calcium, all of which your body needs to perform at its best. Look for ways you can add an apple to your daily diet in your food and drink.

Hibiscus Tea

Should you learn that you have high blood pressure, consider adding hibiscus tea to your diet. Hibiscus flowers have what are known as anthocyanins, which multiple studies show could be effective in helping you lower your blood pressure.

Even though the above foods could go a long way in keeping you healthy, you should keep seeing your doctor to see just how effective they are for you. Diet and exercise may not be able to prevent every health complication, but they can help head a medical disaster and resulting spending off at the pass.

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Tags: health, joy, nature, new, organic, wellness
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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