Superfoods, Better Moods

Fix Your Health Problems With Food

eat-fruit-vegetables
Can't sleep? Got the PMS blues? Before you open your medicine cabinet, step into your kitchen. "Real, whole, fresh food is the most powerful drug on the planet," says Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution. "It regulates every biological function of your body." In fact, recent research suggests not only what to eat but when to eat it for maximum benefit. Check out the latest smart food fixes.

Problem: I'm bloated

Food fix #1: Dig in to juicy fruits and vegetables

When you're feeling puffy, you may not want to chow down on watery produce, but consuming foods like melon, cucumber and celery is an excellent way to flush out your system, says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Food & Mood. "We need sodium to survive," she explains, "but because we often eat too much of it, our bodies retain water to dilute the blood down to a sodium concentration it can handle. Eating produce with high water content helps the dilution process, so your body can excrete excess sodium and water."

Food fix #2: Load up on enzymes

Bloating can also be a sign that your intestines are out of whack. "If you're irregular or experience gas right after eating, papaya can help," explains Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, author of Food as Medicine. "Eating 1 cup several times a week helps rejuvenate the gastrointestinal system, thanks to papaya's digestive enzyme papain, which breaks down protein." The fiber also helps push food through your intestines, improving regularity. Try a smoothie with papaya, pineapple (it also contains digestive enzymes), protein powder, ice and almond milk.

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