A natural health guide for the holidays

A natural health guide for the holidays

By Asha O’Brien-Grudzinskas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

The uni semester is almost over. Summer is just around the corner. Christmas and New Year celebrations are about to begin! The holiday season is full of laughter, full of fun and full of celebrations. With regular schedules going out the window, comes freedom and a limitless amount of options. Will I wake up at 6am or will I sleep in until 10am? Will I keep doing my regular gym routine or will I do something outside instead? Will I opt to have a salad for lunch or get hot chips? Cocktail or a fresh juice?

Here are 4 tips to help you have the healthiest and happiest holiday season yet!

  1. Sleep

With all the excitement of end of year celebrations it’s easy not to prioritise sleep. Late night after late night can have a detrimental effect on our bodies, moods and vitality. Sleep is vital for tissue repair, muscle growth, hormone regulation, stress adaptation, and appetite regulation. Studies have shown insufficient sleep is associated with weight gain, type 2 diabetes, increased risk of heart disease and poor immune function. Every persons sleep requirements are a little different but most adults need 7-9 hours a night.

  1. Drink Mindfully

Not all alcohol is created equally. When it comes to wine opt for the organic version to avoid the nasty preservatives and other additives. And steer clear of premixed drinks and cocktails containing added sugars, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. And think twice before ordering another round. Drinking more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks a day has been linked to poor concentration, low mood, poor memory, high blood pressure, decreased sex drive and performance, lowered immunity, increased risk of stroke, dementia, stomach ulcers, heart attack, as well as liver, stomach and bowel cancer. Healthy alcohol alternatives include kombucha, cold pressed juice, smoothies, and fruit infused sparkling water.

  1. Move Your Body

With the warmer weather and longer days it is easier to get outdoors and move! Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Go for a walk with friends, jump in the ocean for a surf, do body weight exercises in your backyard. Benefits include reduced risk of heart attack, lowered blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, strong bones, better moods and sleep, and increased energy. Spending 30 minutes outside in nature has also been found to decrease cortisol levels, reducing stress and improving moods.

  1. Brassicas Are Your Bestie

With the large amount of high sugar, high fat foods and alcohol available at holiday events, our livers can be put under extra stress. Brassicas are a family of nutrient dense vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, turnips and kale. They have anti-inflammatory properties and support liver detoxification. Ensure you’re eating 5 serves of vegetables a day, with at least one of these being from the brassica family to maintain healthy liver function and overall good health.

Bio:

Asha is in her final semester of studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy). She loves walking with her clients into complete wholeness and freedom. Seeing her clients come fully alive when they reach optimal health brings Asha indescribable joy. In her spare time Asha enjoys adventuring to new places, a fun work out and eating wholesome meals with friends. You can follow Asha on Instagram and Facebook: @ashacecilia

References:

Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2019). Alcohol. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/alcohol [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019].

Linus Pauling Institute. (2019). Cruciferous Vegetables. [online] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/cruciferous-vegetables [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019].

Healthdirect.gov.au. (2019). How alcohol affects your health. [online] Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-alcohol-affects-your-health [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019].

Johnson, I. (2000). BRASSICA VEGETABLES AND HUMAN HEALTH: GLUCOSINOLATES IN THE FOOD CHAIN. Acta Horticulturae, (539), pp.39-44.

Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2019). Physical activity – it’s important. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/physical-activity-its-important [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019].

Healthysleep.med.harvard.edu. (2019). Sleep and Health | Need Sleep. [online] Available at: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/health [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019].

Healthysleep.med.harvard.edu. (2019). Sleep, Learning, and Memory | Healthy Sleep. [online] Available at: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019].

Wassermann, B., Rybakova, D., Müller, C. and Berg, G. (2017). Harnessing the microbiomes of Brassica vegetables for health issues. Scientific Reports, 7(1).

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