HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES FOR TOP 3 HOLIDAY GIFTS
2. Bath and Body Gifts. Bath salts and other body products such as lotions, sprays, and bubble bath are favorites for many. Like candles, many bath products are made with dyes, phthalates, petroleum based ingredients, and other chemicals. Because these products are applied directly to the skin and enter the bloodstream within seconds, they are especially unhealthy. Try shopping for organic products at your local natural grocers or try these healthy alternatives:
3. Sweet Treats. No holiday season would be complete without a holiday treat. Unfortunately, sugars, dyes, and saturated fat make gifts like cookies, cakes, brownies, and candies very unhealthy. While natural grocery stores sell organic treats you can buy in a pinch, here are some healthy alternatives you can make at home that are low on sugar and high on nutrition:
NUTS AND SEED
- Blomhoff R, Carlsen MH, Andersen LF, Jacobs DR Jr. Health benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants. Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S52-60. 2006. PMID:17125534.
- Kelly JH Jr, Sabate J. Nuts and coronary heart disease: an epidemiological perspective. Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S61-7. 2006. PMID:17125535.
- Lamarche B, Desroches S, Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Faulkner D, Vidgen E, Lapsley KG, Trautwein EA, Parker TL, Josse RG, Leiter LA, Connelly PW. Combined effects of a dietary portfolio of plant sterols, vegetable protein, viscous fibre and almonds on LDL particle size. Br J Nutr. 2004 Oct;92(4):657-63. 2004. PMID:15522135.
RECIPE: HEALTHY TRAIL MIX
The trail mixes you find at the store are often full of sugar, candy, and dried fruit that is chemically processed or coated in hydrogenated oil. To avoid the sugar and chemicals and still take advantage of the many health benefits of nuts, try making your own trail mix.
– 1 lb of raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
– 1 lb of raw, unsalted almonds
– 1 lb of white raisins (check to be sure they are not coated in hydrogenated oil)
– 1 lb of unsweetened, unsulfured dried pineapple rings
Some signs of selenium deficiency are weakness and pain in the muscles, discoloration of the hair and skin, and whitening of the fingernail beds. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is critical to talk to your Naturopathic Doctor. To increase your selenium levels naturally, try eating more button mushrooms, cod, shrimp, tuna, halibut, salmon, Brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds. Consuming too much selenium through food is not likely, with the exception of large consumption of Brazil nuts. Consult your Naturopathic Doctor before increasing selenium through a supplement as selenium toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss, skin lesions, abnormalities in the beds of the fingernails, and fingernail loss.
- WHFoods.com. Selenium. (accessed Nov 18, 2012).
- Badmaev V, Muhammed M, Passwater RA. Selenium: a quest for better understanding. Alt Ther 1996;2(4):59-67. 1996.
- Diplock AT. Selenium, Antioxidant Nutritions, and Human Diseases. Biol Trac Elem Res. 1992;33:155-156. 1992.
- National Research Council. Selenium in Nutrition. Revised edition. Board on Agriculture, Committee on Animal Nutrition, National Academy of Sciences Press, Washington, DC, 1983. 1983.
- Vogt, T. M. Ziegler, R. G. Graubard, B. I et al. Serum Selenium and Risk of Prostate Cancer in U.S. blacks and whites. Int J Cancer. 2003 Feb 20; 103(5):664-70. 2003.
GINGER (Zingiber officinale)
It’s so effective that it can be used for pregnancy-related nausea, even the most severe form, Hyperemesis gravidarum, which often requires hospitalization. In addition, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and joint pain. Researchers are now studying ginger’s effects on colorectal and ovarian cancer. With its many varied health benefits and soothing effects on the GI Tract, ginger is great to add to your diet during the holidays. Not only does the spicy flavor pair well with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, it can help friends and family who might have upset stomachs due to rich holiday foods.
- Akoachere JF, Ndip RN, Chenwi EB et al. Antibacterial Effect of Zingiber officinale and Garcinia kola on Respiratory Rract Pathogens. East Afr Med J. 2002 Nov;79(11):588-92. 2002.
- Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH, Izzo AA. Effectiveness and Safety of Ginger in the Treatment of Pregnancy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Apr;105(4):849-56. 2005. PMID:15802416.
- Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California. 1983.
- Rhode JM, Huang J, Fogoros S, Tan L, Zick S, Liu JR. Ginger Induces Apoptosis and Autophagocytosis in Ovarian Cancer Cells. Abstract #4510, presented April 4, 2006 at the 97th AACR Annual Meeting, April 1-5, 2006, Washington, DC. 2006.
- Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Rheumatic Disorders. Med Hypothesis 29 (1989):25-28. 1989.
HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR INCREASING GRATITUDE IN YOUR JOURNALING PRACTICE:
- Keep a daily list of things you are grateful for.
- Write a thank you letter to someone who changed your life for the better.
- Make a list of 50 things you are grateful for about yourself.
- Emmons RA, et al. “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Feb. 2003): Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 377ñ89.
- Grant AM, et al. “A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (June 2010): Vol. 98, No. 6, pp. 946ñ55.
- Lambert NM, et al. “Expressing Gratitude to a Partner Leads to More Relationship Maintenance Behavior,”Emotion (Feb. 2011): Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 52ñ60.
- Sansone RA, et al. “Gratitude and Well Being: The Benefits of Appreciation,” Psychiatry (Nov. 2010): Vol. 7, No. 11, pp. 18ñ22.
- Seligman MEP, et al. “Empirical Validation of Interventions,” American Psychologist (JulyñAug. 2005): Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 410ñ21.
Karren, Keith J. 2010. Mind/Body Health: The Effects of Attitudes, Emotions and Relationships. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.
McTaggart, Lynne. 2008. The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts To Change Your Life and The World. New York: Free Press.
Grabhorn, Lynn. 2005. Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Positive Feelings. London: Hodder Mobius.
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.
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