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6 Fruits and Vegetables With Healing Powers
From better hair to glowing skin, these foods know how to work their magic. By Melissa Romero
Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice is a natural way to prevent muscle soreness. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.
Comments () | Published October 25, 2012

Did you know that the skin of cherries relieves pain just as well as ibuprofen? Or that avocado works great as a hair conditioner? In other words, food is medicine. We rounded up the top six healing powers of certain fruits and vegetables.

For more energy . . .
Eat fruit with skin.

Contrary to popular belief, fruits contain a lot of complex carbohydrates, which release sugar into your system slowly, leaving a long-lasting energy boost. Fruits with skin, such as apples, provide added fiber, which keeps you full longer. 


To prevent muscle soreness . . .
Eat cherries.

A study of runners who drank Montmorency cherry juice for a week before a race and on race day found that they reported much less inflammation and faster muscle recovery than those who received a placebo. Montmorency cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food—especially in the peel. 

To reduce risk of cancer . . .
Eat kale.

Kale has enjoyed its superfood reputation for a while now, and for good reason. Its high content of vitamin K has proved it can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It also contains a huge dose of vitamins A and C, magnesium, and fiber. 

For healthier hair . . .
Eat avocado.

Avocados and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are key for a healthy scalp. Avocados are also high in vitamins B and E, which have been shown to promote hair growth. It’s no wonder they’re typically used in hair masks, thanks to their moisturizing and conditioning benefits. 

For glowing skin . . .
Eat carrots.

Carrots contain a wealth of carotenoids and beta carotene, which gives our skin that healthy glow, according to a study published online in the journal PLoS One. The beta carotene also helps with collagen production

For a healthy immune system . . .
Eat shiitake mushrooms.

The immune support from eating shiitake mushrooms has long been documented. They have a high content of lentinan, which keeps our immune system strong and reduce our risk of infection

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Health Nutrition
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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 10/25/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs