Surprising health uses for everyday foods

If all you do is eat it, the food in your fridge and pantry isn't living up to its full potential. The latest research shows that everyday foods like vinegar and yogurt can be used as home remedies, for health and beauty challenges ranging from sunburns to a bout of the blues.

1. Vinegar

Use it to: Soothe a sunburn

Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar to treat fried skin, Bonnie McMillen, a nurse at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford said.

Health.com: The Golden Rules of Sun Protection

2. Lemon zest

Lemons are shown in the produce section at the K+G Food Mart in Detroit, Monday, May 8, 2006.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

 (AP)

Use it to: Boost your mood

Aromatherapy research suggests that the scent of lemon oil can lift spirits. Add lemon zest to iced tea; inhale the aroma.

3. Yogurt

Use it to: Keep your skin looking fresh

Use plain Greek yogurt as a mask: The live bacteria remove toxins, and the acidity balances the pH of skin, Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, author of "Food as Medicine," said.

Health.com: DIY Food Facials for Fresh, Younger-Looking Skin

4. Chamomile tea

Use it to: Reduce skin irritation

Dip a washcloth in a strong iced brew and press onto skin to help relieve inflammation, Dr.  Valori Treloar, a dermatologist in Newton, Mass.and coauthor of "The Clear Skin Diet," said. 

This article originally appeared on Health.com.