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Top Medicinal Foods
Although it's quick and simple, a list can be just as educational as it is easy to read. That's the idea behind TravelsinTaste.com's new "Lists" feature, which includes lists of some of the country's most exciting food trends, innovative ingredients, unusual restaurants, intriguing cocktails and more. Our editors have scoured America's kitchens, markets and menus in search of the most up-to-date, unusual items for your reading -- and dining – pleasure, then published them in a convenient, easy-to-chew list format. Scan, savor and enjoy!

    
   
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This philosophy has lasted over two millennia and, with the wonders of modern science, has proven to be a very solid theory on the medicinal qualities of the foods we eat every day. Many different foods share common benefits, so rather than list just a few foods and their various benefits, I will list for you some common medicinal traits and the foods that share them. When you are preparing any of these foods, it is important that you eat them raw or very lightly cooked as most of the chemicals found naturally in fruits and vegetables are easily cooked away. Eating a slice of apple pie isn't going to be as beneficial as eating a raw apple or two. In many cases, most of the nutrients in a given fruit or vegetable are actually found in the skin or rind, so be sure to eat them in their most natural state possible.

4. Stomach Relief
Depending on the symptom, there are a number of foods that can help relieve a number of common stomach ailments. Raspberries and ginger can prevent or relieve nausea, bananas can soothe an upset stomach, and dates, prunes, and plums are natural laxatives due to their high fiber content.

3. Antibiotics/Antibacterials
Coming down with a sinus infection, strep throat, ear infection, or other bacterial infections? You may want to eat more bananas, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, plums, prunes, eggplant, mustard, garlic, and onions.

   
     
    
2. Antivirals
Common cold or the flu got you down? With scientists discovering a new flu strain on what seems like a weekly basis these days, you may want to start stocking up on corn, mushrooms, onions, plums, prunes, strawberries, and cranberries. If you're looking to treat the symptoms of your cold or flu, you may want to get some garlic or garlic supplements since it has been proven to be an effective decongestant and anti-inflammatory agent. Believe it or not, there is some science behind the age-old remedy of chicken soup. While it may not cure the disease, it does a wonderful job of treating the symptoms and, in fact, tests have proven that inhaling the hot vapors from a simmering pot of chicken soup is more effective than inhaling plain water vapors in clearing out the sinuses and nasal cavity.

1. Antioxidants
One of the most important naturally occurring tools in the fight against cancer is the antioxidant. Other health issues that can be prevented by antioxidants are heart disease, macular degeneration, and diabetes. They can also be useful as boosters to the immune system. Antioxidants are found in basically every brightly colored fruit or vegetable, like carrots, squash, broccoli, pumpkin, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, collards, honeydew and cantaloupe melons, peaches, citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, kiwis, and any other good source of vitamins A and C. Other antioxidants include vitamin E, found in nuts, beans, leafy green vegetables, vegetable oil, and liver oil, and selenium, found in fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, garlic, and brazil nuts. Flavonoids and polyphenols found in soy products, red wine, purple and Concord grapes, pomegranate, cranberries, and tea have also been shown to aid in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.

It should be addressed that none of these foods are “miracle cures” but have merely been proven to assist the body in fighting or preventing the countless ailments that threaten us every day. Even the strongest immune system can falter and, in those cases, it's important to see your physician. Eat in good health!

   
     
      
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