Some people know the third Monday in January as Blue Monday, because it is supposed to be the saddest day of the year. For a number of people, the winter blues aren’t just limited to one day. SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a type of depression that affects people in the winter months because of the darkness from shorter days and grayer skies. Less natural sunlight, shorter days and colder weather can really affect your mood. It has been estimated that as many as 9% of U.S. adults experience symptoms of SAD. It is more common in women than men, and in the north than the south.
Symptoms of SAD can be low energy, anxiety attacks, weight gain, sleeping too much, and decreased libido, all of which typically begin in the late fall and alleviate in the spring. But here is the good news. People with SAD often respond very well to light therapy (phototherapy) and vitamin D supplementation, as well as other forms of natural medicine. Be sure to talk to your doctor about symptoms you are experiencing, for a proper diagnosis. Continue reading “Fight the Winter Blues Naturally”
The importance of probiotics is becoming more evident and the use of fermented foods is a great way to get healthy bacteria in your system. Research shows that a probiotic-rich diet has numerous health benefits, from enhancing your digestive and cardiovascular health to having a positive effect on your mood.
Unfortunately, there are many things within our daily routine or lifestyle that could be detrimental to our good gut bacterial growth. Here are some good suggestions to help improve and maintain healthy bacteria levels: Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Sweet and Sour Tempeh Offers Benefits of Fermented Foods”
We often think of sinus problems being at their worst in the spring and summer months, but did you know that winter can also be a difficult time for sinus sufferers? Winter brings cold temperatures and damp weather, illnesses such as colds and the flu, more time spent indoors around dry air and potential allergens such as dust, pet dander, smoke, scented candles, as well as mold on Christmas decorations, and holiday festivities that often include the overindulgence of sugar and alcohol. All of these factors can lower your immunity and cause inflammation of your nasal passages and create a breeding ground for bacterial infections.
Here are 5 tips for supporting your sinus health this winter season: Continue reading “5 Tips for Winter Sinus Health”
In the age of precision medicine and personalized nutrition, the microbiome steals the spotlight when it comes time to translate what we eat into our overall health. Our gut bugs, who spend most of their time in our gut flora, or digestive tract, may have more influence than our ancestors when it comes time to determine what our future holds, in terms of obesity, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.
The good news is the right foods feed good bacteria that export pathogens or toxic intruders away from the body. Over time the right combination of foods – intact whole grains, like brown rice or oats, and fermented varieties, like sauerkraut and kimchi – can create an army of diverse, healthy gut bugs that speed up our metabolism, turn off hunger receptors, support insulin function, and strengthen our immune system. Developing research suggests these tiny gut bugs can even influence our mood. Continue reading “Precision Nutrition: 12 Foods for a Diverse Microbiome”
Nutritionists will tell you that your diet should be colorful! The brighter the color, the deeper the hue, the more nutrients a fruit or vegetable will have, and therefore it will be better for you. Cauliflower does not follow this rule. This pale member of the brassica family (think broccoli and Brussels sprouts) contains vitamins C, E, and K, carotenoids, fiber, and a variety of minerals. And although the creamy white version of this cruciferous vegetable is what you are probably most familiar with, it also comes in purple and green, adding even more nutritional oomph to this already nutrient-dense vegetable.
Cauliflower is also very versatile. Steamed, stewed, roasted, made into “rice,” used as a pizza crust, baked, blended into a creamy cream-less soup, or mashed, its mild taste and light color make it easy to hide.
This version of mac and cheese is an easy way to bring up the nutritional value of this traditional dish. And it’s great for those picky eaters. Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese”