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Healing Foods for Common Health Woes

Healing Foods for Constipation, Insomnia, Prostate Symptoms And More

What you need may be in the fridge, not the medicine cabinet

By Janet Lee, May 22, 2022

CONSUMER REPORTS – The following “prescriptions” are all healthy foods that are part of a well-rounded diet, it’s hard to go wrong.

(If a problem is ongoing, speak with your doctor to determine the cause and the best course of action.)

Constipation

Try: Raspberries, artichokes, and chia seeds. These are some of the best sources of the kind of fiber (insoluble) that helps move stool through your gut, says Alexon.

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Try a cup of raspberries as a snack, add some marinated artichoke hearts to a salad, or mix a tablespoon of chia seeds into a smoothie.

“Dried fruits, such as prunes and apricots, can frequently be helpful with chronic constipation because they have a lot of insoluble fiber and contain other chemical components that have their own laxative properties,” says Joel Mason, MD, a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine and nutrition at Tufts University in Boston.

Just remember to increase your water intake when you’re adding fiber-rich foods, Alexon says. “If you don’t, it can make the problem worse.”

Insomnia

Try: Oatmeal or kiwifruit. “There is some research showing that having a snack with some complex carbohydrates before bed, such as oatmeal, can increase levels of the mood-regulating chemical serotonin, which helps induce sleep,” Alexon says.

Kiwis have serotonin, too, and that may be one reason people in a small study (sponsored by a kiwifruit marketer) who ate two kiwis an hour before bed dropped off more easily. They’re also rich in folate, a B vitamin. Low folate levels have been linked to insomnia.

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In general, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy fats, and lean protein, has been correlated with better sleep quality, according to a 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients.

Prostate symptoms

Try: Pumpkin seeds. These green seeds, aka pepitas, contain compounds called sterols.

A 2014 German study, with almost 1,500 men with BPH, found that those who ate about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds a day saw greater relief in prostate symptoms than those who took a placebo or pumpkin seed extract capsules … READ MORE. 

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