As summer sheds its last few rays of warm light, us Vancouverites know what is quickly approaching: Fall. For a lot of us, this means fall-ing out of our health routines. Just like the bears in our backyard, we too have no problem growing our winter coats (so to speak). In my opinion, Fall is the best time to focus our energy on keeping our bodies beautiful. As per your request, I have created a list of my top 5 absolutely necessary health tips that I would highly recommend following over the colder months.
1 – Drink noni juice. The noni fruit is a true superfood. Noni is derived from the fruit of the morinda citrifolia tree indigenous to Southeast Asia, Australasia, and the Caribbean. Not only is the juice an immune booster, but it is also high in antioxidants, and works as a digestive stimulant. Even better, Noni juice has been shown to be a successful analgesic, has antibacterial properties, and is an excellent anti-inflammatory. [Note: Does not taste great. Be warned.]
2 – Wear sunscreen. In the winter, the sun is closer to the earth and its rays are even stronger. When choosing a sunscreen, look for the following active ingredients: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (safe mineral sunscreens). Avoid products with oxybenzone (an endocrine disruptor) and vitamin A (or retinyl palmitate), which paradoxically may increase your skin cancer risk. And choose one without fragrance, as some fragrances can also act as hormone disruptors [www.doctoroz.com].
3 – Chia seeds, “A dieter’s dream”. High in protein, high in omega 3 oil, high in antioxidants, potassium, calcium, AND iron? Oh, and it’s gluten free. A sprinkle a day keeps the doctor away! [www.realrawfood.com]
4 – Coconut oil. I use coconut oil as often as I can (usually 4-5 times a week) when cooking. Studies have show that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. Even more, it also can help to fight off yeast, fungus and candida. Coconut oil can also positively affect our hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control. People who take coconut oil also tend to have improvements in how they handle blood sugar since coconut can help improve insulin use within the body. Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion, can lower cholesterol, and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins [www.doctoroz.com]
5 – Be mindful of not only what you eat, but also when you eat. I personally try to keep to a “Mediterranean” eating schedule when I can. Basically, I consume my heaviest meal (carbs, high protein) at lunch, and keep it light (salad, or fish and veggies) for dinner. This way, your body has the rest of the afternoon and evening to burn off those extra calories, which is when you typically need the most energy anyway.
*Noni juice, chia seeds, sunscreen, and coconut oil can be purchased at your local health food store. Ex: Planet Organic, Whole Foods.