The fruit and veg to eat for headaches, insomnia, stomach pain and sloth

Fix a host of lifestyle ailments with Mother Nature's magic bullets

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 September, 2015, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 4:45pm

It is common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are the staples of a healthy diet. We’ve all heard the “five  a day” mantra. What we might have overlooked is that fruits and vegetables are also great for common ailments. Get an instant kick out of these hacks the next time you feel under the weather.


In a city of insomniacs, set yourself apart from the sleeping pill-popping crowd by harnessing the magic of cherries and grapes, which are packed with melatonin, the hormone that tells your body to rest. Although we produce melatonin naturally at night, its production decreases as we age and can be disrupted by stress and long working hours. Drink a cup of grape juice, or eat some cherries before bedtime to improve the quality of your sleep.

Orange aroma will also calm the central nervous system; a bowl of dried or fresh orange peel by your bedside can help send you to dreamland.

Stomach ache

Living a rapid pace of life, many people suffer from stomach upsets due to irregular meal times and stress. With its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can relax intestinal tract muscles, soothing cramps and abdominal pain. It can also help with nausea and vomiting. Peel, grate and boil some ginger root in water for a quick fix.

If you are sensitive to ginger, try tropical fruits such as mango or papaya if you are suffering from indigestion; brew a cup of fresh peppermint tea to reduce bloating.

Eating high-fibre fruits and vegetables in general improves digestion and reduce chances of constipation. When suffering from stomach ache, avoid citrus and acidic fruits such as persimmon, which will stimulate acid reflux.


Headaches can be triggered easily, they are one of the most common pain disorders worldwide. Whether caused by anxiety, noise or a hangover, fruits and vegetables loaded with magnesium can relax blood vessels and relieve the pain.

Eat bananas, fresh figs and dark leafy greens to boost your magnesium intake.

Potassium deficiency is another common cause of headache, especially after a night's partying. Potassium is depleted due to the diuretic effect of alcohol.

Fill your plate with avocados, kiwis, and passion fruit, or eat roast potatoes with their skins to replenish essential electrolytes and nutrients.

Afternoon slump

After a productive morning and a quick lunch, it is normal for office workers to feel fatigued in the afternoon and find concentrating a challenge. Rather than blame it on your body’s internal clock, fuel your work day with some tasty snacks packed with high-quality protein, such as vegetables and hummus, Japanese edamame or a handful of raw unsalted nuts.

Skip the unhealthy energy drink or coffee and try passion fruit or pomelo juice for that afternoon pick-me-up.

Boost your energy throughout the day by having a good-quality breakfast and limiting sugar and simple carbohydrates intake.

There's more

And because we love fruits and veggies so much, here’s a list of “just-for-fun” hacks to boost the yum-factor of your summer diet:

Frozen grapes and strawberries are delicious and fun to eat as bite-sized popsicles, which makes them a perfect low-calorie and low-fat treat.

Green mangoes go well with a bit of salt, soya sauce or even chilli powder to bring out their tangy goodness.

Diced apple can be stored by adding a squirt of lime or lemon to prevent browning. The acidity gives a great contrast to the sweetness of the apple.

Raw garlic is a superfood that can fight cancer. Stimulate the intestinal enzymes by eating  half a clove of garlic every day.

The authors are the founders of Hong Kong’s first juice cleanse programme Punch Detox.