Do you remember the excitement of opening a new box of Crayola crayons as a child? For me, there was something just so wonderful about a new box of sharp crayons and that wonderful smell. Just smelling crayons today transports me back to my childhood! I’m sure you have noticed that adult coloring has become all the rage lately. Why? There are actually a lot of reasons coloring is good for you and why you may consciously or subconsciously find it so rewarding. Read on to learn more!
Have you tried yoga? With its increasing popularity, more and more people are trying yoga. Maybe you've tried it, but did you know that aside from the obvious benefits of increasing strength, yoga has many other health benefits? It creates awareness of your mind/body connection. It even taps into your body's ability to heal itself.
Stress is one of the most searched topics on the internet. Anyone who is alive experiences stress. Stress can be debilitating to your life and your Christian walk. By changing your perspective on stress and using it as a learning experience, you can take some good away from the stressful experiences you encounter.
The Bible talks about this in James 1:2-4. Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Do you reach for that bag of potato chips or a handful of Oreos when you get stressed? Eating these kinds of foods may be worse for you than when you eat them when you are not stressed! Stress can even upset the way your body handles both healthy and unhealthy foods.
The Research on Stress and Diet
A new study from Ohio State University has revealed that stress affects the way your body processes food. A stressful day can actually lower your metabolism and increase your insulin.
Basil is great to detox your liver. If you overate or drank too much the previous day, give your liver a break and add some basil or pesto to your breakfast.
Inflammation & Swelling
A study found that Holy Basil can reduce swelling by up to 73%.
The essential oils contained in basil lower inflammation, which is at the root of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Basil also improves digestion by supporting healthy bacteria in the gut.
Basil oil combats the bacteria that cause acne.
Try this recipe from Health.com: Boil a handful of fresh basil leaves in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes; let the liquid cool. Dip a cotton ball into the liquid, pat it on your breakout zones, wait 10 minutes, then splash with water; repeat once or twice a day.
Holy Basil helps with stress by reducing cortisol, your stress hormone. Basil is considered an adaptogen, which means it helps your body adapt to stress. It helps your body normalize and deal with the effects of stress. Try adding basil to your iced tea after it has steeped.
Basil can help with arthritis by reducing the inflammation that the disease causes.
When you are menstruating, you lose iron. Basil is an excellent source of iron, containing the same amount as spinach! Eat plenty of iron rich foods during your period.
Basil contains powerful antioxidants that help protect the lining of the blood vessels from free radical damage. This helps prevent arterial clogging, heart attacks, and stroke. It can also help the muscles in your blood vessels relax and contract, thereby promoting healthy blood pressure. It also helps prevent blood clots.
Basil has been found to reduce circulating blood glucose, which helps prevent diabetes. It can also lower triglycerides and cholesterol, which diabetic patients often suffer from high levels.
Basil has many antibacterial properties. One of the many ways you can take advantage of this is to wash your veggies in a solution with 1% basil or thyme oil. Doing this kills bacteria that can cause diarrhea. Scientists are doing studies about basil’s effects on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Studies are showing that basil is effective in killing powerful bacteria strains. Basil essential oils may be effective in treating viruses and infections.
The antioxidants in basil help prevent cancer. They do this by keeping chromosomes from becoming altered or damaged. They can also target harmful cells, such as cancer cells. Basil can also help protect healthy tissue from the harmful effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
Depression & Anxiety
Some people consider basil to be an antidepressant. It can help stimulate the neurotransmitters that regulate the hormones that are responsible for making us feel happy.
Basil has traditionally been used in some countries as a natural aphrodisiac. It is believed to cause arousal and to support healthy sexual function.
I wrote this post after spending the morning making pesto. I have two basil plants that have been VERY prolific! I started wondering what the health benefits were. I hope you enjoy this vegan version of pesto!
Vegan Basil Pesto
4 cups loosely packed basil
1/2 cup olive oil, more if needed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup pine nuts or other kind of nuts (I have used blanched almonds or walnuts)
1 teaspoon salt
Place the basil into your food processor. Turn on processor and drizzle oil into processor as its running. Process for 15-30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue processing until smooth. If it needs more olive oil to process smoothly or reach the correct consistency, then add some.
White tea could help you live a longer life, a study has found. Antioxidants contained in white tea may help reduce your risk for skin aging, cancer and arthritis. White tea is uncured and unfermented. One study has found that white tea has more cancer-fighting properties than other more processed teas. Other studies show that white tea thins the blood and improves artery function, thereby reducing the risk of stroke.
White tea also contains a specific type of antioxidant called Catechins. Catechins actually lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. This helps prevent hardening of the arteries. Researchers have also discovered that people who drink 2 or more cups of tea a day are 50% less likely to die after a heart attack.
White tea has been found in some studies to increase bone density. White tea also contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, which improves your immune system function. This helps your body guard against the common cold and flu. It also kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and plaque. A cup of tea a day could make a difference in your health and beauty!
God is always there to answer and help us when we are feeling weak. Here are some verses you can claim anytime you need some extra strength! Write them down where you can see them, memorize them and say them out loud or in your own mind.
Black Cohosh is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms. It is an adaptogen, which means that it helps bring the hormones into balance. If they are too high, it brings them down; if they are too low it brings them up. It also contains estrogenic substances and binds to estrogen receptors. It also acts on serotonin receptors and may relieve hot flashes and improve mood.
The benefits of Black Cohosh include:
How to use Black Cohosh:
Duke, J. A. (1997). The Green Pharmacy. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.
Find a Vitamin or Supplement: Black Cohosh. (2016, May 6). Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-857-BLACK+COHOSH.aspx?activeIngredientId=857&activeIngredientName=BLACK+COHOSH&source=2
Geller, S. E. (2007, January 8). Botanical and Dietary Supplements for Menopausal Symptoms: What Works, What Doesn’t. Retrieved from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764641/
Gottlieb, B. (1995). New Choices in Natural Healing. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.
Pedersen, M. (1998). Nutritional Herbology. Warsaw, IN: Whitman Publications.
Most people drink coffee for the morning pick-me-up, but if you are wanting to cut down on your jitters or just your caffeine intake, you have choices.
The adrenal gland sit on top of the kidneys and pump out estrogen, testosterone, and the stress hormone cortisol. When the adrenal glands are fatigued (when you’re stressed, anxious, angry, or depressed) your body decides it’s more important to make cortisol rather than estrogen and testosterone.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb designed to help with adrenal fatigue, hormonal balancing, and improving a range of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and mood swings. It is an adaptogenic herb, so if cortisol is too high, it will lower it; and if it’s too low, it will raise it. Cortisol contributes to muscle loss and weakness, wrinkles, and cognitive impairment.
The benefits of Ashwagandha include:
ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER BEFORE BEGINNING A NEW HERB OR SUPPLEMENT.
Bayless, K. (2015, December 18). 10 Supplements You Should Be Taking After Menopause. Retrieved from Prevention: http://www.prevention.com/health/post-menopause-supplements
Group, E. (2014, July 11). 7 Amazing Benefits of Ashwagandha Root for Women. Retrieved from Global Healing Center: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/7-amazing-benefits-of-ashwagandha-root-for-women/
I am a Duke Integrative Medicine trained Health Coach located in Charlotte, NC. I hold a B.S. and M.A. in Wellness Management. I have a passion for health and for helping others achieve the healthy life they desire.