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Not just gourmet, but medicines too

Egyptians, Greeks and Romans believed that certain foods were natural cure-alls.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 21:07 IST
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Egyptians, Greeks and Romans believed that certain foods were natural cure-alls. Poppy juice was used to kill pain, strawberry roots to treat mad-dog bites. Crocodile blood was recommended for failing eyesight.

Here are some foods that are scientifically thought to be good for you:

Soya: Best products are miso, tamari and shoyu. Contains chemicals called isoflavones which act as weak estrogens and leave less room for strong ones. Estrogen promotes fast growth of breast cells in women.

Cranberry juice is good for urinary tract infections, because the juice inhibits a type of bacteria that clings to the wall of the bladder and causes infection.

Carrots are good for your eyes. Carrots and some other fruits and vegetables contain beta carotene which can reduce the chance of any eye disease. One carrot a day can help prevent macular degeneration, which eventually leads to blindness. 

Chicken soup fights congestion that comes with a cold.

Chicken has an amino acid that thins the mucous lining of the sinuses, thus relieving stuffiness.

Garlic and onions kill flu and cold viruses. Eat onions to fight insomnia. Onions contain a mild natural sedative called quercetin. 

Fish is good for your brain. The mineral zinc is found in fish and shellfish. Studies show that even a minimal deficiency of zinc impairs thinking and memory.

Blueberries fight the bacteria that causes diarrhoea.

Bananas are a natural antacid. They give relief to heartburn and gastric distress.

Spinach is good for your spirits. It contains lots of folic acid. If your body doesn’t have enough folic acid, you may feel depressed.

Ginger fights nausea caused by motion sickness and relieves migraine. Make tea with a dash of ginger juice.

Yoghurt with acidophilus fights the bacteria that causes vaginal yeast infections.