The surprising secret to sailing through sick season? Giving your body’s pH levels a tune-up. Research shows half of post-menopausal women have pH levels that are too acidic, which can weaken the immune system. Luckily, it’s easy to check your pH with inexpensive urine or saliva test strips found in drug stores. The ideal reading is 6.4. If your reading is lower, which signifies high acidity, you can bring it back into balance with an acid-neutralizing sipper: Simply stir 1/4 tsp. of sea salt and 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar into 4 oz. of water and drink daily.
To melt stubborn pounds, an under-the-radar hero can help: bee pollen! It speeds calorie burn and enhances digestion, thanks to its rich stores of fat-dissolving lecithin and nutrients that inhibit the body’s ability to store fat. In addition, it’s high in phenylalanine, a compound shown to dampen cravings. In fact, studies found that adding bee pollen granules to a glass of lukewarm water and drinking it 20 to 30 minutes before a meal effortlessly decreases food intake by up to 20%. Try: Beekeepers Naturals Bee Pollen (Walmart.com)
Safeguarding against cold and flu viruses (and even COVID-19) is easier than you think: Simply keep your home’s humidity level at the “sweet spot,” between 40% and 60%. Harvard scientists found this helps prevent virus cells from hanging in the air longer than they do in dry conditions. Plus, moist air helps the lungs expel viruses more efficiently. Try using an inexpensive humidifier in your bedroom, since your body shores up your immune system while you sleep. No humidifier? Fill a slow cooker with water and set on low, uncovered, to add moisture.
Strengthening brittle nails from the inside out is easy when you enjoy an omelet for breakfast. Our nails are 98% protein, and a deficiency in this nutrient can sap nails of their strength. Eggs to the rescue! Eating one or two a day supplies needed protein and the amino acid cysteine, which binds the strains of keratin (the main protein in nails) together to add strength. Prefer a topical fix? Mix 1 egg yolk with 1 Tbs. of jojoba oil. Massage into nail beds; rinse after 10 minutes. Doing this three times weekly for 14 days will fortify nails in two weeks.
Every time you reach for your slow cooker for a hearty stew or roast, you’re warding off signs of aging. Cooking over low temperatures drastically reduces the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), inflammatory compounds that form in food cooked with high-heat methods like grilling and broiling. As AGEs break down our cells, they can trigger everything from saggy skin to stiff arteries. Luckily, slow-cooking methods like simmering, braising, steaming, and poaching help keep skin firm, joints ache-free and memory sharp.
Letting your mind wander may actually be the most productive part of your day! Harvard scientists say daydreaming allows the brain’s frontal cortex – the area responsible for resisting distractions – to rest and recharge, enabling you to attack your to-do’s with renewed vigor and focus. The trick: Skip using downtime to run through your day’s responsibilities. Instead, prompt your thoughts with topics you enjoy. And the benefits extend beyond renewed focus. Daydreaming has been shown to boost creativity and improve well-being too!
Chronic stress leads to burnout of the adrenal glands for up to 86% of women. The result? Exhaustion, blue moods, and weight gain. To the rescue: licorice root. Its active compound, glycyrrhetic acid, is an anti-stress tonic that helps heal overworked adrenals to keep you energized and upbeat throughout the busy holiday season. What’s more, German scientists say eating real licorice also stamps down sugar cravings. The key: eating six pieces of black licorice made with real licorice root extract daily (find it in supermarkets and drug stores).
Turns out you’ve got the making of a powerful anti-Alzheimer’s agent in your cupboards: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. The combo kills and rinses away oral bacteria that causes gingivitis – gum inflammation so common, it affects 3 in 4 adults. And that’s the key since research shows the bacteria may be linked to the formation of brain plaques that trigger dementia. To do: Once a month; mix 2 Tbs. of baking soda with a small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide to form a thick paste. Massage into the gum line with a toothbrush, then rinse well with warm water.
Healthy gums block bacteria from traveling through the body, which protects against dementia, heart disease and COVID complications. Now, Danish researchers have found that a toothpaste with CBD oil eliminates 262% more of the bacteria than leading toothpaste brands. What’s more, research has shown that CBD may reduce gum and tooth sensitivity. And because it’s derived from the hemp plant it contains non of the THC that brings on a “high”. One to try: CBDent (GetCBDent.com)
For the millions of women suffering from sinus pressure triggered by cold, damp weather: Horseradish to the rescue! The root veggie contains a sinus-clearing chemical similar to one found in drugstore decongestants, as well as antibacterial compounds that help prevent infection. And if the bold flavor makes your nose run, that’s a good thing! It helps drain excess sinus fluid. I suggest grating 1 tsp. of fresh horseradish root and chewing it thoroughly for 1 minute. If the flavor is too strong, add the grated root to a salad dressing or sauce instead.