Mind-blowing food facts

1 Pineapple is a natural painkiller The fruit contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that bring pain relief from conditions such as arthritis, according to a study at Reading University.

2 Pomegranate juice could prevent a heart attack This wonder juice is believed to improve blood flow to the heart and lower blood pressure.

3 Onions are natural antibiotics They might make your breath pong but onions contain allicin, a powerful antibiotic that also protects the circulatory system.

4 Mushrooms can ward off colds They contain more of an immune-boosting antioxidant called ergothioneine than any other food, say researchers at Pennsylvania State University.

6 Blueberries can boost memory A study at Tufts University in Boston showed eating half a cup of this fruit regularly could delay age-related deterioration in co-ordination and short-term memory.

8 Eat chocolate, live longer Hurray! Harvard University scientists say that eating a couple of chocolate bars a week could extend your life by almost a year.

9 Grapefruit juice can stop medicine working If you're taking medication, avoid washing it down with grapefruit juice as there is evidence that it prevents some drugs being broken down.

10 You should never drink tea or coffee with meals Tannins in tea and coffee prevent absorption of certain nutrients. A cup of tea with a meal will halve the iron you get from it, whereas a glass of orange juice will double it.

11 Cherries can cure gout Cherries contain compounds that significantly reduce the chemicals in the body which cause joint inflammation.

12 Eating curry could help prevent Alzheimer's According to a report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, a yellow pigment used in curry, curcumin, can stop amyloid plaques in the brain that cause the condition.

13 Sniffing a lemon could help you beat asthma The UK's 5.1 million asthmatics could find lemons ease their symptoms. Studies in rats found that breathing improved after they inhaled limonene, the chemical that gives lemons their smell.

14 Kiwi fruit can improve your eyesight This fuzzy fruit is a surprisingly good source of lutein, an antioxidant that protects your vision.

15 Garlic can cure mouth ulcers and verrucas Here's an old wives' tale that works: halve a clove of garlic, squeeze, and apply a drop of the juice to the offending growth at bedtime.

16 You can have too little salt Too much salt isn't good for us but not getting enough can trigger low blood pressure in those susceptible. Consult your GP before making any major diet changes.

17 Figs can delay brittle bone disease Good news for the three million osteoporosis sufferers in the UK - it is possible to slow its progress by eating calcium-packed figs.

18 Soya can mimic breast cancer drugs A team of Cambridge researchers discovered that a diet high in soya can have a similar effect to anti-cancer drug Tamoxifen.

19 Barbecued-food can cause cancer Eating meat that's chargrilled or burnt could lead to stomach, pancreatic, colon and breast cancer because it creates high levels of carcinogenic compounds.

20 Cinnamon can help diabetics Just half a teaspoon a day of this spice can significantly reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, says US research.

21 Chillies can help you breath more easily Capsaicin, which occurs in chillies, shrinks the mucous membranes which can ease blocked noses and sinuses.

22 Watermelon is good for the prostate Men will be glad to know that the red flesh contains the antioxidant Lycopene, which helps keep the prostate gland healthy.

23 Coriander can lower your cholesterol levels This aromatic herb can reduce cholesterol levels and prevent heart problems.

24 Nibbling nuts can prevent blood clots Nuts boost nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels and eases blood flow.

25 Banish bad breath with natural yoghurt A few spoonfuls of natural yoghurt can neutralise halitosis, according to Japanese researchers.



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