We all know that food nourishes our bodies and fuels our daily activities and workouts, but did you know that foods can also serve as  natural remedies for a multitude of ailments such as soothing itchy skin, healing wounds, and protecting our skin from sun damage? Read on to see how you can make your refrigerator your new medicine cabinet!

Oatmeal has long been touted as a healthy food, and you probably already know that the soluble fiber found in oats may help to lower cholesterol, but did you also know that oats are often used as a natural remedy to soothe itchy skin that results from eczema or other skin conditions? As a child, I remember my mother having me take an oatmeal bath to soothe my itchy chicken pox. To make your own oatmeal bath, you will want to grind the oatmeal first to make it the most effective. Using a coffee grinder, grind regular rolled oats into a fine powder and then dissolve a cup or two of the powder into a bath of lukewarm (not hot, as it can dry skin out) water. Soak for at least 10 minutes.

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Honey is a natural sweetener that contains many nutrients such as potassium, zinc, and calcium, just to name a few. But did you know that honey also has antibacterial properties? Studies have shown that when honey is applied to sores in the mouth, it can help to heal the sores and reduced discomfort. It should be noted though, that infants under the age of one should never be given honey as their immune systems are unable to kill botulism spores.

Yogurt is one of my favorite healthy snacks, but it is also a powerful food that, according to studies can do everything from prevent bad breath to treat a yeast infection. Yogurt that contains live cultures of good bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus and streptococcus thermophilus (and most yogurts do) promotes the growth of this good bacteria in the body when eaten daily and has been shown to help improve digestive issues and to help treat yeast infections. Also, a Japanese study found that individuals who consumed 6oz. of unsweetened yogurt containing this bacteria daily had a reduction in the bacteria that causes bad breath!

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Red and orange foods such as sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and red bell peppers are not only great sources of vitamin C and other antioxidants, but these nutrients may also to help protect the skin from sun damage and prevent skin cancer. Although it’s no excuse to avoid using sunscreen, the beta carotene and other antioxidants in these founds have been shown in studies to aid in the protection of the skin from sun damage by building up in the skin and forming a protective barrier. The needed amount of these foods has not yet been determined; however, eating at least 5 servings a day of colorful fruits and vegetables is a good place to start. No one likes to have dandruff or thin, splitting nails. But did you know that eating cauliflower might be the solution? Cauliflower contains biotin, a vitamin that has been shown to promote the health of skin and nails, specifically by helping to control dandruff and thicken nails to prevent them from splitting.So if any of these conditions are ailing you, add a few of these foods to your grocery cart, and you may be feeling better in no time!

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