You already know that consuming the right foods can boost your intake of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. But there are a few out there that could also alleviate some of your most pesky daily problems, like hiccups or even rashes like eczema.
Though it's important to keep in mind that serious conditions need the attention of a doctor, it might not hurt to reach for one of these items the next time you have a minor health problem.
|Oatmeal for eczema|
Calm itchy, inflamed skin using this breakfast food. Oatmeal soothes rashes because it's packed with phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Create a soothing bath by grinding 1/3 cup of plain oatmeal (no flavors!) into a fine powder using your blender; pour the powder into lukewarm water and stir in evenly with your hands until the water is a milky color, suggests Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist.
Another option: use 1/4 cup of oatmeal and enough water to make a paste that you can apply directly to the skin for 10 minutes, she says.
|Prunes for constipation|
Dried plums are rich in insoluble fiber, a key nutrient to help fight constipation.
"Insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve in water and creates more bulk so waste can push through the digestive system," says Wayne Andersen, MD, medical director of Take Shape for Life, a weight loss program from Medifast.
Prunes also contain two substances that act as natural laxatives, sorbitol and dihydrophenylisatin, which will work much better for your system over time than drugstore constipation aids. "The body can become desensitized over time to over-the-counter laxatives," Dr. Andersen says.
Start with just one prune a day first and bump up your intake to two if you don't see a response.
|Sugar for hiccups|
When you hiccup, the diaphragm undergoes a series of spasms, but you can fool your body into stopping that reaction by putting a teaspoon of sugar underneath your tongue. The sweet sensation is strong enough to stimulate the vagus nerve. That's the longest cranial nerve in your body, starting at your brain stem and extending as far down as your diaphragm to control the stomach.
"Keep the sugar under your tongue until you stop hiccupping, and then swallow to fill the back of your throat with even more sensation," says Dr. Andersen.
|Apples for heartburn|
Avoiding trigger foods like soda, high-fat beef, and anything fried is the best way to deal with acid reflux. One food that should keep in your diet: apples.
"Apples have pectin, a soluble fiber that's really great at absorbing stomach acid," says Dr. Andersen. Plus, the fruit contains two types of acid (malic and tartaric) that work to beat back any juices that flow up from your stomach.
"Buy organic red or golden delicious apples that are sweeter than the tart granny smiths," Dr. Andersen suggests. "Sweet apples are considered alkaline foods that work at a cellular level to restore pH balance and prevent GERD."
|Turmeric for infections|
Turmeric is revered in India as a "holy powder" that can be used to prevent infections and treat wounds. That's thanks to a compound called curcumin.
"Foods with curcumin have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties so they can help with cleansing and healing," says Dr. Andersen.
A study in the Biochemical Journal even found that curcumin has the ability to stop bacteria from multiplying. If your medicine cabinet is running low on antibiotic ointment, try dabbing a little turmeric on your cut or scrape instead, but only for minor or superficial wounds. Dr. Andersen suggests using half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a drop or two of water to make a paste, or if the wound is still bleeding a bit, you can apply the powder without water. After the area is dry, cover with a dressing and let the healing begin.
10 Home Remedies You Can Find in Your Kitchen originally appeared on Health.com.