According to the November 2004 issue of Consumer Reports on Health, the following foods just may be your prescription for some common ailments:
Bad Breath. A touch of cinnamon in the form of sugarless gum or a cinnamon stick stirred in tea can help mask unpleasant breath.
Colds. Chicken soup for the body and soul really does appear to reduce symptoms, inhibit coughs, decrease congestion, drain sinuses, prevent dehydration and ease throat soreness.
Constipation. Good sources of fiber, such as legumes, bran cereals, whole grains, fruits and veggies, are helpful in preventing and treating constipation. (But be sure to drink plenty, since excess fiber can cause bloating and flatulence.)
Depression. Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates—whole grains and beans, for example—boost mood-altering serotonin levels and keep energy levels stable for people who suffer mild bouts of depression.
Nausea. Ginger tea can relieve the nausea caused by motion sickness, early pregnancy or chemotherapy.
Sinus Headaches. Spicy foods like hot peppers and curry contain a compound called capsaicin, a blood vessel dilator that helps drain sinuses and thereby eases pain.