Winter wellness tips

January 7, 2008 7:07:06 PM PST
Make simple changes to your daily routine in order to achieve wellness.

With the New Year upon us, nearly 70 percent of Americans will give up on their goals almost before they've begun. So the best way to follow through is by having priorities and pacing yourself. Wellness Expert Terra Wellington gave us some good advice.

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Think of the top two or three things you want to do for 2008, and then make mini goals for each month. And my advice for your health goals is to make them simple and livable. So, here are four healthy living goals:

Boost your immune system
A healthier immune system means you get sick less often. And a way to do this is by adding flavonoids into your diet. Flavonoids are what are called "super antioxidants," which can protect your cells from damage and keep you healthier. And flavonoids have been getting a lot of notice lately because of their potential helpful effects on human health -- they are to have antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor capabilities.

If fact, in November the newest research from the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital www.topcancernews.comreported that flavonoids are associated with reducing the risk of ovarian cancer.

Flavonoids are chemical compounds found in many foods, like kale or spinach leaves. But according to the USDA's latest report, one of the highest concentrations of flavonoids is found in the elderberry fruit. An example of how you could incorporate flavonoids into your diet is by taking a black elderberry supplement called Sambuco which may stimulate your body's immune system all year round.

Avoid restrictive diets
Diets are so yesterday. The new trend is to change your lifestyle to eat healthy and moderately all year round. This doesn't mean you can't eat what you like, rather it means you need to choose wisely, especially if you're on the go.

But healthy choices abound when it comes to fresh or pre-prepared food options for busy folks. For example, Lean Cuisine's new Flatbread Melts are meals with cheese that would normally be something you might crave if you had to break a diet, but actually they have less than 330 calories and only 9 grams of fat. So you can have them as a healthy meal with a fruit and milk - and still be on the go. The key is in reading the nutritional facts label to know how many calories and fats your foods have, and then looking for options that are nutrient rich - which means that they would have vitamins, fiber, grains, fruits, and vegetables in the mix.

Snack smarter
And then if you want a snack, stock your home and office with good choices - like fruits and vegetables. One superfood example is the Sunsweet's Ones, which are individually wrapped prunes. If you swap out 3 cups of popcorn for 4 Ones, you've brought your fat to zero and increased your potassium five times. And potassium also lowers your blood pressure, which can reduce hypertension stress. Again, it's all about choices.

Take your oral health seriously
According to the Centers for Disease Control, even with all the advances we have had in dental care, more than 90 percent of adults over 40 years old still have tooth decay. And 25 percent of all adults over 60 years old have lost all their teeth. But much of tooth decay be prevented with regular brushing and flossing. So, if you're looking for the right toothpaste for a beautiful smile, you can check out Arm & Hammer's Advance White Toothpaste because it has baking soda, which gently cleans away plaque and surfaces stains from your teeth. And baking soda is a good ingredient to look for when you're considering everyday oral care -- because it is more gentle than other cleaning agents used in other toothpastes. Also make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, as that has been proven to combat tooth decay.