For many health problems, the most powerful “drug” on the planet is fresh food. That’s according to Dr. Mark Hyman, an expert in Functional Medicine, which addresses the underlying causes of disease. So here are some common health problems he says we can fix, just by eating the right food, no medicine cabinet required:
First, if you’re feeling depressed: Eat a tuna sandwich. Or a handful of Brazil nuts. Both are loaded with selenium, a mineral that’s crucial for the production of thyroid hormones, which govern our metabolism and mood. In fact, a study found that people with the lowest levels of selenium are more likely to be depressed. So, to keep our mood stable, experts recommend consuming 55 micrograms of selenium a day, which is about what we get from a 3-ounce can of tuna.
Next, if you’re having skin problems, eat more onions. Research shows that the sulfur in foods like onions, leeks, and scallions help produce molecules that detoxify our skin, and make us less prone to acne breakouts.
What about if you’re feeling bloated? The best “drugs” for that are watery fruits and vegetables, like melons, cucumbers, and celery. Dr. Hyman says a lot of people think the solution to bloat is to consume less water, not more. But science says bloat usually means we have too much sodium in our diet, and one of the best ways to quickly flush sodium out of our system is to eat produce with a high water content.
The last food fix is for people who can’t sleep. Drink a glass of tart cherry juice. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep. In fact, a study found that people with chronic insomnia, who drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice an hour before bedtime, generally stayed asleep longer than those who didn’t.