Permission to skip grueling workouts to bolster your bones in favor of having a little fun! It turns out, to encourage healthy new bone growth and stop further bone loss as you age, all you have to do is jump. The impact of simply hopping around for a few minutes coaxes more calcium into bones, which significantly increases bone density and helps prevent painful fractures if you ever take a tumble. For best results, do three sets of 10 hops each day, keeping a sturdy chair nearby for stability if needed.
Cravings for sweet foods can be off the charts after the holiday season. Thankfully, you can reset your appetite by enjoying fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, miso paste, and kimchi daily. Their probiotic bacteria colonize the gut, where they release compounds that rein in the brain’s messages that tell you to eat sugar and carbs. What’s more, the bacteria release compounds that help you digest sugar to stave off bloat, headaches, and other not-so-sweet side effects. And all it takes is 2 Tbs. daily to get the benefits.
Prevent diabetes with a sweetener? It’s true! Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that pure maple syrup brims with potent antioxidant compounds that increase the sensitivity of fat cells to the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin. This helps noticeably reduce the risk of diabetes. To get the benefits, drizzle up to 1 Tbs. of pure maple syrup over oatmeal, waffles, or even your morning coffee or tea daily. Tip: To replace white sugar with maple syrup in recipes, substitute every cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of maple syrup.
Supercharging your body’s defenses against illness is easier than you may think: Simply draw a relaxing bath. Soaking in warm water spiked with apple cider vinegar raises the body’s pH to a level that makes it a less hospitable environment for bacteria and viruses. I advise doing the following twice a week during cold and flu season: Run a tub of the hottest water you can stand and add 2 cups of organic apple cider vinegar. Soak until the water is cool, and avoid showering for at least 4 hours to allow the vinegar to absorb into your skin.
There’s a surprising way to strengthen brittle nails in time for a festive New Year’s manicure: Eat an omelet for breakfast! Our nails are 98% protein, which means a deficiency in the nutrient can weaken them. But eating one or two eggs daily supplies protein, plus the amino acid cysteine, which binds the strains of keratin (the main protein in nails) together. For a topical fix, mix 1 egg yolk with 1TBS. of jojoba oil, then massage into nail beds. Rinse after 10 minutes. Doing this three times weekly fortifies nails in 14 days.
Ever feel sore and achy but can’t figure out why? Our bodies record every emotional trauma we experience, and sometimes these memories manifest as physical pain. To soothe this type of discomfort, try flower essences – my go-to for neutralizing negative energy to ease emotional and physical symptoms. To do: Mix 1 drop of Bach Flower Remedy (Viacost.com) into 8 oz. of water and sip four times daily. Most helpful for my clients: centaury (for over-extending yourself), impatiens (for irritability) and rock rose (for self-criticism).
If you ate one too many sugar cookies and your stomach is in knots, hum a holiday tune. Doing so can quash GI pain in a hurry. That’s because the vagus nerve links the brain to organs throughout the body, including the stomach, heart, and lungs. And stimulating this nerve, which is connected to the neck, with just 45 seconds of humming has been shown to help treat a variety of health conditions, including GI distress, depression, and anxiety.
Good news: You can sail through this year’s flu season, which is predicted to be a doozy. How? I suggest getting more glutathione, an immunity-strengthening antioxidant. The natural compound also helps the liver flush harmful toxins, which decreases the severity of symptoms and helps speed healing if you do become ill. To get these benefits, enjoy half of a medium avocado, one of nature’s best sources of glutathione, daily. Try slicing it over a salad or mashing it up to make guacamole.
Wish you could enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving fare without worrying about a few extra pounds sneaking on? You can! My favorite supplement for weight loss during the holidays and beyond is African mango seed extract. In one study, women who supplemented with it had a significantly smaller waist after two weeks, and they lost 14 times more weight than those who skipped the extract. Compounds in African mango curb appetite and flip a switch in the brain that stops the creation of fat cells. The study-proven dose: 150 mg. twice daily.
An easy way to ward off fatigue that tends to set in during the fall and winter: Season your favorite savory dishes with seaweed flakes instead of table salt. This low-sodium pick provides salty flavor and plenty of thyroid-nourishing iodine, which helps increase energy within 30 minutes. Another plus: It boasts appetite-suppressing soluble fiber to thwart cravings, and it’s terrific on poultry, vegetables, salad or even popcorn. Tip: To preserve its beneficial enzymes, add the flakes after cooking. One to try: Maine Coast Dulse Granules (SeaVeg.com).