(Photo: Spring flowers growing near my windowsill.)
It's officially spring! Living on an island when winter sometimes feels like it lasts a little too long, I can get a little impatient for spring. Here are 6 Easy Things You Can Do For Better Skin, Mind and Body to welcome the season.
Drink Green Tea – Green Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and is high in antioxidants called catechins which help fight free radicals in your body that boost your immune system and help ward off illness. For maximum flavor and potency, brew Green Tea fresh rather than buying a pre-made bottle in the grocery store. If the flavor of Green Tea isn’t your favorite, try adding a couple of fresh organic mint leaves. You could also add a little bit of honey.
Add a Little Seaweed – About a year or so ago I started using kelp granules in my cooking (did I just see you make a "yuck" face"?) Here is a little background on kelp:
- Kelp contains high amounts of iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron, as well as vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, amino acids, omega-3 fats and fiber, but lower levels of sodium than salt. Iodine helps regulate your thyroid gland to produce healthy hair, skin and nails.
- For sodium, The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day (less than ½ a teaspoon). The average American gets about 3,400 mg of sodium a day. In comparison a ½ teaspoon of kelp contains about 40 mg of sodium. You can read more about sodium guidelinest from the Mayo Clinic under references below.
Add kelp granules to soups, stews, stir-fries - anywhere you add salt - while cooking. I don’t recommend them as a “finishing salt” sprinkled on foods like roast or fried potatoes unless you like a kelpy flavor. You can buy the granules at Natural health food stores. I'm currently using Sea Seasonings Organic Kelp Granules from Maine. Remember it's always best to check with your primary care doctor before switching to a food substitute so as not to interfere with any medications or conditions you might have. Balancing your iodine levels is very important so as not to lead to hypo- or hyperthyroidism.
Plant a Little Love – For the past few winters I have done a little indoor planting so I can watch something green grow and bloom over the colder months. I love checking on my plants each morning to see if anything has sprouted or flowered. Now is a great time to check out some spring plants. Who doesn't love waking up to some gorgeous tulips?!
Go outside - Spending time outside encourages well being in lots of different ways. Not only does it increase your Vitamin D levels, it can also help with your sleep-wake cycle AKA circadian rhythm which helps control important body functions like the production of the hormone melatonin, energy levels and your digestive system. Going outside and feeling "grounded" and connected to nature can be especially important for people that experience anxiety or depression. You can check out this great article 13 Remarkable Health Benefits of Getting Outdoors by Julie Singh.
Green Skincare Products - I think of skincare products as food for your skin. The more recognizable and food grade quality the ingredients, the more nutrient dense, healthy and antioxidant rich for your body. I specifically chose oils like Almond, Camellia, Olive and Avocado to include in my Nourishing Body Oil...all loaded with Vitamins such as E, A and Vitamin D, and skin loving and moisturizing oleic essential fatty acid.
Let me know what I can add to the list. I would love to hear how you celebrate Spring!
drweil.com; 10 Reasons to Drink Green Tea;
mercola.com; Kelp Seaweed Benefits; https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/06/20/kelp-seaweed-benefits.aspx, June 20, 2016
maraseaweed.com; Why Seaweed is the Best Salt Substitute; https://maraseaweed.com/blogs/news/why-seaweed-is-the-best-salt-substitute, July 24, 2017
mayoclinic.org; Sodium: how to tame your salt habit; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/sodium/art-20045479, April 16, 2016
Murdoch Books, Small Plates: Salsa Verde. London: Murdoch Books Pty Limited, 2009, page 252.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or health care professional or any information contained in product labeling. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.