20 Amazing Healing Foods

There's a first-aid kit in your kitchen, and it can make you stronger and live longer — for pennies a day.

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    20 Amazing Healing Foods

    To heal your stressed-out, strained body, step away from the medicine cabinet. The miracle drugs you need are in the kitchen. Certain foods have been shown to have measurable effects on specific body parts and functions — from soothing your gut to lowering your blood pressure, from slimming your waist to helping you stay hard. Here are 20 of the best.

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    Healing power: May preserve muscle mass

    An apple a day can keep younger men at bay: A recent University of Iowa study found that older mice fed diets high in ursolic acid, which is found in apple peels, experienced a 10 percent increase in muscle mass and 30 percent increase in muscle strength, putting them on a par with younger mice. They theorize it helps turn off the protein responsible for age-related loss of muscle mass.

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    White tea

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    Black beans

    Healing power: Slashes cholesterol

    Black beans contain soluble fiber, the type of fiber your body can digest; it's a key nutrient in helping to reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. A half cup of black beans will get you halfway to the five grams of fiber you should have each day.

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    Healing power: Heals arteries

    When fats are good, they're very good: Researchers say a diet rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids can help reverse arterial stiffness, which inhibits blood from flowing to vital organs. A study in the International Journal of Cardiology found that smokers who supplemented with just 2 grams of omega-3s a day—what you'll find in a 4-ounce portion of salmon—saw a significant improvement in arterial elasticity.

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    Chocolate milk

    Healing power: Aids muscle recovery

    Recently, researchers said they may have found the perfect pre- and post-workout drink. It's not sold in a $40 tub that looks like a spaceship; it's what you used to drink after school: Chocolate milk. Why? It contains a near-ideal balance of carbs and whey protein (about eight grams per cup). Scientists say an ideal protein intake for building muscle is 10 to 20 grams, divided pre and post workout, so mix up a few cups and you're there.

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    Healing power: Detox the liver

    With all the toxins in the modern world — pollution, food additives, the guy in the next cubicle over — the body needs all the help it can get. Beets contain a type of antioxidant called betalains, which studies show can help repair and regenerate cells in the liver, the body's primary detox center.

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Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more
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