The waiting room, the insurance forms, the poking and prodding — let’s face it, visiting the doctor is not fun. If you want to minimize the number of trips you make to their office, a great way to do that is to eat the proper foods. Step aside, apples. There are plenty of awesome superfoods to keep the trips to a minimum. Whether you want to boost your immune system, strengthen your bones and joints or get glowing skin, check out the list below for what to eat + how it will help your body.
1. Sweet Potatoes to Keep the Ophthalmologist Away: Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, potassium and beta carotene, which make them just as good as the carrot for improving eye health. Throw them in the oven to bake or use them as a substitute for regular potatoes if you’re in the mood for mashed spuds. (via Reader’s Digest)
2. Yogurt to Keep the Orthopedist Away: Yogurt is great for building strong bones, since a cup of yogurt has at least as much calcium as an eight ounce glass of milk. And because removing lactose from milk and dairy foods does not affect the calcium content, lactose-intolerant folks can still reap the benefits. Mix in berries for a yummy breakfast option. (via Salon)
3. Almonds to Keep the Cardiologist Away: Almonds can help up your heart health game — that means even possibly reducing the risk of heart attacks. The flavonoids in almond skins work in tandem with vitamin E to strengthen artery walls and lower your risk of heart disease. Bonus: A handful makes a great afternoon snack. (via Mayo Clinic)
4. Leafy Greens to Keep the Hematologist Away: Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and collards help detoxify the bloodstream, and the vitamin K in these foods helps your blood clot, which is great for speedy healing. Add some spinach leaves to your scrambled eggs or throw kale into the blender with a banana and pineapple juice for a flavorful smoothie. (via Petit Organics)
5. Blueberries to Keep the Dermatologist Away: These guys are packed with antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C, which can help maintain healthy skin and prevent wrinkles and inflammation. Their high water content also aids in keeping your skin hydrated and your complexion fresh. (via Fitness)
6. Tea to Keep The Dentist Away: Tea contains polyphenols, which are compounds that slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease. A few cups a day can also help reduce the size and stickiness of plaque build-up. Reach for a mug instead of a can of soda when you’re feeling lethargic at work. (via Yun Photos)
7. Lentils to Keep the Gastroenterologist Away: Lentils, like all beans, are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, so they act as a great cleanser for your insides. Plus, they can help prevent constipation and colon cancer. Add them to chili or cook them as a tasty side dish for a taste of the magical fruit. (via Mind Body Green)
8. Garlic To Keep the Oncologist Away: Studies suggest that garlic can help protect against all types of cancer, from breast and prostate to digestive, due to the active ingredients of allicin and allyl sulfur. Add a little to chicken or sautéed vegetables for an extra kick of flavor. (via Dish by Dish).
9. Honey to Keep the Immunologist Away: Honey’s antioxidant and antimicrobial properties will help your immune system fight infections from both viruses and bacteria. Just make sure to skip the clover honey and opt for the raw, unadulterated version. It’s the bee’s knees. Spread some on toast or add a spoonful to your green tea for a bit of guilt-free sweetness. (via Photoree)
10. Quinoa to Keep the General Practitioner Away: It’s so hot right now for a reason. Quinoa offers a wide variety of benefits; it’s high in protein and fiber, is a good source of iron and has zinc and vitamin E. Mix it with vegetables to make a light but filling salad. (via Anna Laura Brown)
What are your favorite superfoods for warding off infections, joint pains and other ills? Let us know in the comments below!