Fixing What Ails You ... With Food
Eat Your Medicine
Pop a cold pill or sip a cup of mom's chicken soup? You may
have scoffed all these years at that old-fashioned remedy, but research is now
showing that mom may just have known best after all. Chicken soup's just one
"food fix" that may be just what the doctor ordered. Take a look...
The suspected benefits of chicken soup were reported centuries
ago when the Egyptian Jewish physician and philosopher Moshe ben Maimon (also
known as Maimonides) recommended chicken soup for respiratory tract symptoms.
His 12th century writings were based on earlier Greek writings. Fast forward to
1993 when Stephen Rennard, MD, conducted an informal laboratory study and
submitted the results mostly on a lark. Seven years later, Rennard's chicken
soup research was published in the Oct. 17, 2000, issue of CHEST, the
peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. Rennard,
Larson Professor of Medicine in the pulmonary and critical care medicine
section at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, found that chicken soup
-- whether prepared from scratch or bought in a supermarket -- seems to inhibit
or reduce the movement of neutrophils, the most common white cell in the blood
that defends the body against infection. The soup may also improve rehydration
and nutrition in the body, as well as providing psychological
and physical comfort if you're feeling ill.
A Day Without Orange Juice ...
Is a day when you might not be reducing your blood
pressure, says Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS, RD, associate state nutrition
specialist and coordinator of the Nutrition Communications Center at the
University of Missouri. Increasing both potassium and calcium in your diet
will lower your blood pressure, says Hemmelgarn. Choose OJ that is
calcium-fortified and not-from-concentrate. Another good source of potassium --
A Taste of the Grape ...
Juice, that is. Drinking a cup a day of 100% purple grape juice
contributes to a healthy heart, says Jane E. Freedman, MD, assistant professor
of medicine and pharmacology at Georgetown University, and lead researcher in a
study published last year in Circulation. The study showed that drinking
grape juice not only has a direct effect on important functions like blood
clotting, but also appears to increase the levels of valuable antioxidants
while decreasing free radicals. Purple grape juice has three times the
antioxidant power of grapefruit, orange, tomato, and apple juices. (An added
bonus: preliminary studies have shown that compounds in purple grape juice were
as effective as those found in cranberry juice for preventing urinary tract
And speaking of those UTIs ...
One glass of cranberry juice or one ounce of dried cranberries
a day will help stave off infection, says Amy Howell, PhD, research scientist
at the Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research at Rutgers
University. The compounds found in cranberries prevent certain bacteria from
making the foot-like processes that they use to attach to the walls of the