Traditionally used to stave off urinary tract infections, cranberry juice has been found to lower blood pressure. A study, presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, found that people who drank low-calorie cranberry juice for two months saw an average drop of three points in blood pressure. It was also found that a group who drank a placebo beverage had no change in their BP numbers. Furthermore, the antioxidants in cranberries have been linked to lower blood pressure in other research too.
Traditionally used to protect against heart disease, red wine has also been found to fight cavities. In a lab study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that red wine eliminated the kind of bacteria that contribute to tooth decay. Researchers believe that it is a combination of the wine's antioxidants and the fact that it sticks to your teeth. This gives it time to effectively destroy germs.
Traditionally used to highlight hair, lemon juice has also been found to prevent kidney stones. The same potent citric acid that makes lemons good hair lighteners can also reduce calcium excretion and help prevent kidney stones from forming. The best solution will be to drink a glass of lemonade, from actual lemon juice, and with barely any sugar, daily.
Traditionally consumed to build strong bones, dairy is also great to ease PMS symptoms, which includes bloating, cravings, headaches, and irritability, by getting more calcium from dairy products and dark leafy greens. A study found that women who took 500mg of calcium per day for two months showed a reduction in PMS symptoms compared to another group of women who took a placebo.
Oranges have been traditionally used to ward off colds, but are also great to lower cholesterol. The vitamin C in oranges has been hyped as one of the best home remedies. But in recent years, researchers have found oranges are beneficial for reducing cholesterol. Dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet says “Oranges are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that creates a gel-like substance inside your body that binds to bad cholesterol and carries it out. Eating a diet rich in soluble fiber can help to reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels as well as total cholesterol levels.”
Coffee is best known to increase alertness but has recently been found to prevent stroke. New research is emerging about this drink for its cardiovascular health, including stroke prevention. “One study found drinking one cup of coffee daily may reduce stroke risk by as much as 20 percent, while another study found the risk to decrease by as much as 25 percent in women who drink two cups of coffee per day,” Palinski-Wade says. “Although the exact reason is unknown, it is possible the coffee may have an impact on reducing inflammation and/or insulin resistance.”
Chamomile is best known as a sleep aid but has also been found to treat anxiety.l Researchers have found that the herb's calming properties may treat generalized anxiety disorder. In fact, research from the University of Pennsylvania found that study participants with moderate to severe GAD who took a chamomile supplement could significantly reduce their symptoms. While more research is needed, it is generally, a safe treatment to try.
Traditionally used to relieve nausea, ginger lowers blood sugar. A go-to remedy for seasickness and pregnancy, ginger can help people who suffer from diabetes or who are at risk of developing it. In a study, people who took a ginger powder supplement of 2g per day for 12 weeks, had lower levels of blood sugar and blood fats, in comparison to those who had taken a placebo.
Used to calm puffy eyes, but also to reduce diabetes. “Thanks to their fiber content—and very few calories/carbs—cucumbers may help to reduce blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes,” Palinski-Wade says. “In animal studies, regular consumption of cucumbers decreased blood sugar levels in rats with diabetes.”
Traditionally used to relieve constipation, prunes also prevent bone loss. “Studies have found that eating just five to six prunes per day can help prevent bone loss,” Palinski-Wade says. In fact, a recent review of research backed up these findings, in which it was found that prunes are high in bone-boosting nutrients and have antioxidants that may protect against bone breakdown. “Prunes are incredibly versatile and you can easily eat five to six every day as a healthy snack, pureed as a substitute for added sugar in baked goods, or even mixed into smoothies and sauces.”