Surprising Health Uses for Everyday Foods

Kitchen staples that soothe sunburns, boost your mood, and more.

If all you do is eat it, the food in your fridge and pantry isn't living up to its full potential. The latest research shows that everyday foods like vinegar and yogurt can be used as home remedies, for health and beauty challenges ranging from sunburns to a bout of the blues.

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Use it to:

Soothe a sunburn

Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar to treat fried skin, says Bonnie McMillen, a nurse at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

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Lemon zest

Lemon zest is a great way to add flavor to cookies, cakes, and your other favorite dishes. This Cooking Light video shows you how to remove the outer rind of a lemon, which is filled with tasty, aromatic oils, while avoiding the bitter, white pith underneath.

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Use it to:

Keep your skin looking fresh

Use plain Greek yogurt as a mask: The live bacteria remove toxins, and the acidity balances the pH of skin, says Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, author of Food as Medicine.

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Chamomile tea

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Use it to:

Reduce skin irritation

Dip a washcloth in a strong iced brew and press onto skin to help relieve inflammation, suggests Valori Treloar, MD, a dermatologist in Newton, Mass., and coauthor of The Clear Skin Diet.

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