6 Fruits and Vegetables With Healing Powers

From better hair to glowing skin, these foods know how to work their magic.

Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice is a natural way to prevent muscle soreness. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

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