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December 2020


Keep your celebration sugar-free with Keto-friendly sweet treats










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Try Something New Stream2Sea

Hair & Body Care Get the nourishing power of an antioxidant blend of green tea, tulsi, wakame, and olive leaf. Cleanse, condition, and strengthen your hair and skin with Conditioning Shampoo and BodyWash, a convenient 3-in-1 product that’s perfect for travelers and families on the go. For those who need extra conditioning following exposure to the sun or salt water, try the Leave-In Hair Conditioner to restore your hair’s natural shine.

Gaia Herbs

Mighty Lungs With immune challenges and exposure to environmental pollutions, our lungs work hard every day and play a key role in keeping us strong and well. Provide your lungs with the support they need to help you keep breathing easy. This powerful blend combines adaptogenic and respiratory-supporting herbs for long-term lung and respiratory health.* Made with mullein, plantain, schisandra, and elecampane.


Liposomal Vitamin C his premium absorption vitamin offers micellular liposomal technology that wraps the water soluble vitamin C in a fat-soluble, bi-layer matrix that boosts its absorption into the bloodstream.* Vitamin C promotes healthy immune system function and offers antioxidant protection. This formula supplies 1000 mg of vitamin C per serving, in a delicious orange sherbet avored creamy liquid. Add to smoothies, yogurt, or ice cream!


Koreselect Immune Get a double-shot of immune system support!* Koreselect Immune is made from high-potency six-year-old aged Korean Red Ginseng combined with the benefits of uropean black elderberry fruit juice concentrate, which is known to treat cold and u symptoms. he convenient singleserving package gives you portable immune support anywhere you go!

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Organic Turmeric & Mushrooms Featuring Agaricus mushrooms, this superfood drink mix can help keep your immune system balanced. Just add water, mix, and en oy. It s refreshing and offers good doses of vitamins C and D. Keep your immune system working optimally with some of nature’s highest quality whole foods such as turmeric, mushrooms, and acerola cherry. It helps nourish the body, so you’re feeling your best every day.


PowerImmune his daily all-in-one scientifically formulated immune support supplement contains a combination of 16 clinically proven ingredients to help support the immune system.* It includes essential vitamins A, C, and D, plus zinc, CoQ10, and more. The comprehensive formula includes mushrooms and other nutrients that support both the innate and the adaptive immune systems. Probiotics are added to boost the gastrointestinal immune system.*


CuraLin Advanced Glucose Support Blending ancient Ayurveda practices with modern science and technology, CuraLin offers synergistic glucose support. his blend of 10 botanicals, including gymnema sylvestre, bitter melon, turmeric, and more, supports several aspects of healthy blood sugar control.* It promotes healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, and helps reduce craving for sugars and carbohydrates. * Plus it supports healthy energy levels.*

Nature’s Way

Vitamin C Gummies These high-potency pectin-based vitamin C gummies are formulated with nearly three times the recommended Daily Value of vitamin C, an essential antioxidant that supports immune health.* The vibrant, juicy orange avor is so delicious, you ll make taking them a habit in no time. Vegan and gluten-free.

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Warm Up

Sip a cup of comfort, taste, and function with these nutritionally embellished hot beverages. Celebrate the season with these functional hot beverages that offer both comfort and extra nourishment from ingredients like collagen, turmeric, mushroom powder, maca, and cacao. Vegan Golden Milk Latte Servings: 2 INGREDIENTS 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk 1 cup filtered water 1 Tbs. coconut oil 1 Tbs. maple syrup 1½ tsp. turmeric powder 1 cinnamon stick ½ tsp. ginger powder 1/8 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground ¼ tsp. cardamom powder 2 tsp. Om Mushroom Immune powder DIRECTIONS 1. Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until simmering. 2. Remove cinnamon stick. 3. Pour into a blender, with lid vented to release steam, and blend until frothy. 4. Divide into 2 mugs. Optional: Garnish with ginger powder on top. Recipe courtesy Ommushrooms.com

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Superfood Cappuccino Servings: 1 INGREDIENTS 1 cup brewed coffee ¼ cup coconut milk or creamer 2 tsp. coconut sugar ½ tsp. cacao powder ¼ tsp. maca powder ¼ tsp. Sunfood Super Golden Milk Blend ¼ tsp. nutmeg ¼ tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. vanilla extract DIRECTIONS 1. Add all ingredients to your brewed cup of coffee and mix well. 2. Place in a high-power blender and blend for 10 seconds on high for extra froth. Recipe courtesy sunfood.com/blog/recipes Peppermint Matcha Collagen Latte Servings: 1 INGREDIENTS 6 oz. hot water 1 scoop Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen ¼ tsp. peppermint extract 1 tsp. maple syrup 1 scoop Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen Creamer DIRECTIONS Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until all ingredients are combined and frothy. Recipe courtesy Vitalproteins.com

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Beauty-Boosting Brownies with Vanilla Frosting

p. 30

December 2020

features 18 Sweet Treats

’Tis the season for diet-busting indulgence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This year, keep your celebration sugar-free and cut down on the carbs with festive, Ketofriendly confections made with xylitol, monk fruit, stevia, and erythritol.

22 Beat the Bugs

Fever, body aches, sore throats, and coughs that last till spring—it’s that time of year again. But you don’t have to be miserable. Herbs, supplements, foods, and lifestyle practices can help you kick that sickness to the curb. Just try these science-based remedies that really work.

departments NEWS FLASH



Hot Off the Press. The latest news from the world of natural health.



How to Pick Omega-3 Supplements. Capsules or tablets? Gummies or powders? Fish oil or krill? Here’s how to find the perfect omega-3 supplement to meet your needs.



Green Tea. Drink in the healing properties of everyone’s favorite antioxidant-packed beverage.



Eating for Adrenal Health. Six stress-busting foods that help support these key glands.



Feel Better with Forest Bathing. Getting back to nature can have a profound and therapeutic effect on your immune health, stress levels, and much more.



How to make sure you’re getting enough of the sunshine vitamin during the dark winter months.



Soothing solutions to help you sleep.



Practical tips for managing holiday overindulgence.



Oils and Serums for Hair Repair. Restore your natural shine with these nourishing natural products.



A Delicious Way to Use Collagen. This youth-boosting ingredient isn’t just for bone broth.



Holiday Mushroom Appetizer. These delicious veggie bites are a welcome guest at holiday festivities.

December 2020

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editor’s letter Happy Holidays! The past year has been unique, to say the least, but the holiday season is finally here. Whether you’re getting together with family and friends— hopefully masked up and as socially distanced as possible—or planning a more subdued celebration, this issue of The Healthy Edge has what you need to make your 2020 holiday season a memorable and healthy one. If, like many of us, you put on a few extra pounds during lockdown, the last thing you need is standard holiday overindulgence this year. So check out “Sweet Treats” (p. 18) for simple tips (and recipes!) for keeping your festivities low-carb and sugar-free— but still delicious. “Beat the Bugs” (p. 22) features our top 10 natural ways to boost your immunity and fight off colds and flu this winter— especially important in this year of the pandemic, but good advice anytime. “Forest Bathing” (p. 14) and “Eating for Adrenal Health” (p. 12) both offer unique ways to calm down seasonal (and other) stress. And it’s as easy as taking a focused walk outdoors, or simply changing up some of the foods you eat. And finally, don’t miss our “Holiday Mushroom Appetizer” (p. 32) for a savory snack that’s sure to be a hit with family and friends (and they won’t even know you’re looking out for their health while they nosh!).

Editorial Director Nicole Brechka Executive Editor Jerry Shaver Copy Editor Elizabeth Fisher Beauty Editor Sherrie Strausfogel Contributing Editors Helen Gray and Vera Tweed Graphic Designer Judith Nesnadny

Business & Editorial Offices 512 Main Street, Suite 1 El Segundo, CA 90245 310.873.6952 Integrated Media Sales Director Mason Wells Eastern U.S. mwells@pocketoutdoormedia.com Integrated Media Sales Director Anne Hassett Western U.S. anne@hassettmedia.net Retail Development Group 512 Main Street, Suite 1 El Segundo, CA 90245 800-443-4974, ext. 702 Publisher & Director of Retail Sales Rob Lutz Retail Customer Service bnsales@pocketoutdoormedia.com 800-380-9842

Accounting & Billing Tonya Hodges 513-318-0325

Chief Executive Officer Robin Thurston Chief Operating Officer & President Danielle Quatrochi


Senior VP of Sales & Business Development Tommy OHare VP of Finance Greg Abrahamson Manager of Operations & HR Ilana Coenen


Jerry Shaver Executive Editor Have a question or comment? Email us at healthyedgemag@gmail.com.


THE HEALTHY EDGE. Vol. 12, No. 11 Published monthly by Pocket Outdoor Media, 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301; 303-253-6300; fax 303-443-9757. (c)2011 Pocket Outdoor Media. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by the columnists and contributors to THE HEALTHY EDGE are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable advertising is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all advertising content and for any claims arising therefrom. Articles appearing in THE HEALTHY EDGE may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. The information in this magazine is provided to you for educational purposes under Section 5 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and is not intended as medical advice. To obtain more in-depth information, contact your health care professional or other reliable resources.

†C *T

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Feel Energized Every Day!* †Compared to classic ginsenosides in an in-vitro scientific (Caco-2) study. ††Compared to the rare, noble ginsenoside content of conventional ginseng. *THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

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BRIGHTEN YOUR MOOD WITH CURCUMIN Winter can be depressing enough, but add in a pandemic and limited interactions with friends and family, and you have a recipe for the blues. If you need a mental pick-me-up, try curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. Studies show that depression is linked with brain inflammation. In fact, some research shows that brain inflammation is significantly linked with higher risk of suicide. So a high-potency anti-inflammatory is a crucial weapon in the fight against depression. Curcumin has been shown in study after study to effectively reduce inflammation—with no side effects. Curcumin can reduce inflammation in the brain and also the gut, a critical component of mood and overall mental health. Not only does curcumin reduce inflammation, it elevates serotonin and dopamine, brain chemicals that create a sense of well-being.

Better Your Brain with GABA The amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) can help enhance memory and spatial cognitive function in healthy adults over age 40, according to two studies published in Japanese Pharmacology & Therapeutics. At 12 weeks, 100 mg of GABA (as PharmaGABA) led to significant improvements in several areas of cognitive performance. Subjects who took 200 mg daily experienced even more benefits.

THINK ACUPUNCTURE BEFORE GOING UNDER Veterans who have acupuncture before surgery report less pain and need fewer opioids to manage their post-surgical discomfort, according to a randomized, controlled study presented at the Anesthesiology 2020 annual meeting. Vets who received acupuncture also reported that they were more satisfied with their pain control than those who did not.


COVID-19 SEVERITY You’ve probably already heard of the link between vitamin D and risk of Covid-19 infection. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends maintaining adequate levels, noting that “there is good evidence that if you have a low vitamin D level, that you have more of a propensity to get infected when there are infections around.” Now, scientists in New Zealand have found a link between vitamin K2 and Covid mortality. Their paper, published in Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology, noted a “profound increase” in inactive matrix Gla-protein (MGP) levels in Covid-19 patients—which indicates low levels of the vitamin K2 menaquinone-7 (MK-7)—and an associated increased risk of mortality. “MK-7 deficiency can be a risk factor for increasing the severity of the Covid-19 disease, and infected patients with comorbid conditions tend to develop acute manifestations,” the researchers wrote. Their paper supported an earlier study published in April that also demonstrated a link between vitamin K2 deficiency and disease severity in patients with Covid-19.



December 2020

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supplement advisor

By Vera Tweed

how to pick omega-3 supplements Liquids, capsules, or gummies? High- or low-dose? And what about vegan options? Here’s what you need to know.


he therapeutic effects of fi sh oil have been studied for over 50 years, revealing many benefits. And supplements present more options today than ever. Some offer higher concentrations of the EPA and DHA omega-3s, which means you don’t have to take as many pills. And others come in flavored liquid formulations, gummies, other chewable forms, or are made from vegan sources. With so many choices, how do you decide? The answer boils down to your goals and overall diet, and it helps to understand a bit of science.

Why Fish Oil Is Beneficial The key omega-3 fatty acids found in fi sh oil, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), drive its benefits. DHA is a major building block of the brain, central nervous system, and the retina. EPA works with DHA to reduce inflammation and help prevent or relieve a variety of conditions. Both are absorbed throughout the body, including into cell membranes, where they help to maintain the integrity of each cell and keep it functioning optimally. The human body can make EPA and DHA from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the form of omega-3s found in plants, but only a small portion of ALA is converted. It’s estimated that men convert about 8 percent to EPA and 0–4 percent to DHA; women convert about 21 percent to EPA and 9 percent to DHA. Although ALA is essential, EPA and DHA are the specific omega-3s shown to have heart-health and other benefits. Vegan supplements of EPA and DHA are made from algae, which is the food source of omega-3s for fish. Although algal 8

supplements contain smaller amounts of EPA and DHA than fish oil, they are a valuable option.

Consider Your Diet Most Americans don’t eat a lot of fish that’s rich in omega-3s. A study that looked at American blood levels of EPA and DHA found that they were below the threshold that can help prevent chronic disease. The basic recommendation for maintaining good health is to eat fatty fi sh, such as salmon, herring, or sardines twice a week. It’s estimated that this would provide the equivalent of about 250 mg daily of the combination of EPA and DHA, but it may not be enough. If you routinely eat food from popular fast-food or family-style restaurants, you’re consuming quite a bit of inflammatory refined omega-6 oils. You’ll need more omega-3s to counteract the effect (and better yet, improve your diet). As we get older, levels of inflammation naturally increase, and anyone who regularly does intense exercise or is experiencing signs of inflammation likely needs more EPA and DHA.

A Healthy Daily Dose Essential nutrients usually have government-recommended daily intakes and safe upper limits. For omega-3s, the only official recommendation is for ALA: 1.6 grams daily for men and 1.1 grams for women, amounts most people easily get. As an example, a tablespoon of canola oil contains 1.28 grams and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil packs over 7 grams. When comparing fi sh oil or algal supplements, pay attention to the amounts of EPA and DHA listed separately in the Supplements Facts. There is

no official recommendation for daily EPA and DHA intake, but many integrative practitioners recommend 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily if you’re in good health. If you’re dealing with a chronic or recurring health condition, up to 3 grams daily is often recommended. For lowering triglycerides, 2 grams is the usual minimum dose. No safe upper limit has been set in this country. However, the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that supplements of up to 5 grams daily of EPA and DHA are safe for long-term use. Higher doses may be especially helpful when you’re dealing with PMS or other temporary health situations.

Choosing the Best Product Supplements deliver the best benefits when they’re taken regularly, so it’s important to pick a form that will be easy and convenient for you to use. And then, compare products to match your desired dose. Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3 Key Lime Pie

Renew Life Norwegian Gold Super Critical Omega

iwi Algae Omega-3

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Faster Absorbed◊. Better Absorbed◊. Longer Lasting◊.


Sleep Ease

Helps you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer so you get a good night’s rest.*†

Brain Works Helps support mild memory and focus problems associated with aging*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. NovaSOL® is a trademark of AQUANOVA AG, Germany. Pharma GABA® is a registered trademark of Pharma Foods International Co., Ltd. Venetron® is a registered trademark of Tokiwa Phytochemical Co., Ltd. BacoMind® is a trademark of Natural Remedies Private Ldt. Exclusively distributed by AIDP in North America. Licaps™ is a trademark of Lonza or its affiliates. ◊ Compared to native curcumin extract. †For occasional sleeplessness


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herbal advisor

green tea

Straight from a cup or added to a favorite dish, drink in the healing properties of this global beverage every day.


he world’s second-most consumed beverage after water, green tea has vast health-giving potential, thanks to a substance in it called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Studies show that EGCG lessens the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. It reduces the digestive tract’s absorption of cholesterol, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, and A longer, hotter interferes with cancer-cell steep releases more growth rates, decreasing antioxidants from the tea leaves. the risk of adult leukemia and the spread of breast cancer cells. EGCG also impedes bone-eroding molecules that cause the joint inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.

Did You Know?

Choose It & Use It Aim to drink 5 cups of green tea, steeped for 5 minutes, daily. Longer, hotter steeps add bitterness, but up the antioxidants. Grind green tea into spice rubs, infuse it into drinks, or use it as a cooking liquid or marinade. If you’re not a fan of its grassy flavor, try a blend with a stronger flavor, such as pomegranate, or sneak the brew into smoothies, sauces, and grains.

Green Tea with Pomegranate Juice Serves 6

This health-giving beverage is packed with antioxidants from both green tea and pomegranate juice. 7 green tea bags 3 cups pomegranate juice ½ cup orange juice 2 Tbs. honey 1 medium orange, thinly sliced, optional

1. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in large pot. Remove from heat, add tea bags, cover, and steep 5 minutes. 2. Remove tea bags, and stir in pomegranate juice, orange juice, and honey. Transfer to teapot and serve immediately, pouring into cups with floating orange slices, if using.. Per serving: 102 cal; 1g prot; 0g total fat (0g sat fat); 25g carbs; 0mg chol; 15mg sod; 0g fiber; 24g sugars


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“I just noticed that I was sharper, I was starting to remember things better!” ‡ “Even if you’re not noticing an issue with memory loss, I would still recommend taking it. I just feel like it makes you sharper and keeps you on your toes. I wish I had taken Prevagen 5 or 10 years ago.” ‡


Susan, 52 Sales Management. Marathon Runner. Paid Testimonialist


Prevagen has been clinically shown to help with mild memory loss associated with aging.

**Based on voting by Better Nutrition editors.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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healing edge

eating for adrenal health Six foods to reduce stress and nourish your body. We all have stress from time to time. But when it goes on for weeks, or months, chronic stress can impact all the body’s systems—especially the adrenal glands, small organs that rest on top of the kidneys and are responsible for releasing important hormones. One of these is cortisol, a stress hormone that regulates energy, reduces inflammation, and regulates blood pressure and blood sugar. It also controls the sleep/wake cycle: cortisol levels fluctuate during the day, increasing in the morning when you need to wake up, and decreasing at night when it’s time to sleep. If you’re in a state of constant tension and anxiety, the adrenal glands may not be able to keep pace and produce the necessary hormones to help you cope. The result: a condition called adrenal fatigue, includes symptoms such as nervousness, sleep problems, body aches, and depression. While adrenal fatigue isn’t recognized by the medical community, many naturopaths and integrative practitioners treat it as a true syndrome. In general, a diet that avoids sugar, caffeine, refined grains, and alcohol is recommended. And certain nutrients that relieve stress, promote calm, reduce inflammation, and balance blood sugar can also help. Here are six foods packed with stress-busting nutrients:: Kefir. Studies suggest that bacterial imbalances in the gut contribute to stress and anxiety. Naturally fermented kefir is rich in beneficial bacteria, which improve gut health, reduce anxiety, lessen stress, and may protect against inflammation. Probiotic bacteria also improve serotonin levels and can produce GABA, a neurotransmitter 12

that promotes relaxation and eases tension. Low levels of GABA have been linked with increased anxiety. RECIPE TIPS: Combine kefir with rolled oats, chia seeds, dried cherries, and vanilla extract, and refrigerate overnight for an instant breakfast bowl; make a zesty dressing with kefir, minced garlic, jalapeño peppers, and cilantro; strain kefir through a cheesecloth overnight, then mix in minced chives and garlic powder for a creamy spread. Turkey. It’s high in tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin and melatonin. (Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that promotes calm and relieves stress, while melatonin is a hormone that enhances sleep.) Studies show that tryptophan lessens anxiety and also improves sleep, even at doses as low as 250 mg—the amount in just one serving of turkey. Turkey is also rich in high-quality protein that minimizes blood sugar spikes and enhances energy. Vegan sources of protein and tryptophan include edamame, kidney beans, white beans, peanuts, and tofu. RECIPE TIPS: Spread turkey slices with mashed avocado, layer with arugula, red onions, and shredded carrots, and roll up; combine cooked turkey cubes with celery, scallions, dried cranberries, and kefir; sauté cooked turkey with mushrooms, onions, garlic, and spinach, and toss with spiralized sweet potatoes. Sunflower seeds. They’re rich in protein and B vitamins, which keep the adrenal glands healthy and improve the body’s response to stress. Studies show that thiamine (vitamin B1) protects the adrenal

glands from exhaustion and reduces the body’s reaction to cortisol. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) may buffer cortisol and enhance adrenal function, and deficiencies have been linked with compromised adrenal function. Niacin (vitamin B3) helps the body convert tryptophan to serotonin, and also improves sleep. And pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is necessary for the synthesis of GABA, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters that protect against stress. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of zinc, which has mood-regulating and antianxiety effects. Studies have linked low blood levels of zinc with increased feelings of anxiety. RECIPE TIPS: Combine sunflower seeds, kale, parsley, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a food processor, and blend into a zesty chimichurri sauce; soak sunflower seeds overnight, then drain and purée with kefir, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar for a healthy mayo alternative; combine sunflower seeds with mashed kidney beans, minced red peppers, and shredded carrots, then form into burgers. Tea. While coffee is a no-no on an adrenal health diet, some varieties of tea can help relieve stress and anxiety and protect the adrenals. Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that enhances the production of calming neurotransmitters. While it does contain caffeine, research suggests that L-theanine offsets caffeine’s stimulatory effects. Studies also show that L-theanine induces alpha-brain wave activity, which correlates with a perceived state of relaxation. Rooibos, made from the leaves of the African red bush, has a balancing effect on cortisol levels. And it’s caffeine-free. Chamomile (also caffeine-

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By Lisa Turner

Stuffed Red Peppers with Turkey and Collards Serves 4

This simple recipe takes only minutes of hands-on prep, but looks special enough for a festive dinner. You can blanch the peppers and make the filling ahead of time, then stuff the peppers and bake just before serving. For variations, add chopped broccoli, minced spinach or mushrooms, and serve with a simple sauce made with kefir, lemon juice, garlic, and minced herbs. 4 medium red bell peppers 2 Tbs. olive oil 1 lb. ground turkey breast 2 small carrots, diced 1 cup finely chopped collard leaves ½ cup diced red onion 4 garlic cloves, finely minced ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. black pepper ½ cup cooked quinoa ¼ cup sunflower seeds 2 Tbs. minced rosemary leaves ½ cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese, if desired Chopped parsley and additional cheese for garnish, if desired 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. 2. Cut tops off bell peppers, and remove seeds. Submerge peppers in boiling water, and cook 3–4 minutes, until crisp-tender; do not overcook. Transfer peppers to colander, and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Drain thoroughly and arrange, cut side up, in 8x8-inch glass baking dish. 3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add turkey, and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Add carrots, collards, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes longer, until carrots are tender. Stir in quinoa, sunflower seeds, and rosemary and heat through. Stir in cheese, if desired. 4. Fill peppers with turkey and collards mixture. Bake 20 minutes, or until filling is hot and peppers are very tender. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with parsley and additional cheese, if desired. Serve immediately. Per serving: 380 cal; 35g prot; 16g total fat (3.5g sat fat); 24g carb; 65mg chol; 580mg sod; 6g fiber; 9g sugar

free) has been shown in many studies to relieve anxiety and stress and improve sleep. All three also contain antioxidants that protect against inflammation. RECIPE TIPS: Make a strong rooibos tea, stir in honey and vanilla, then add ice and almond milk for a cooling latte; make a soothing digestive tea with chamomile, peppermint tea, fennel seeds, and chopped ginger; blend matcha green tea powder with kefir and bananas for a morning coffee alternative.

Red peppers. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps support adrenal function and balance cortisol. In some studies, vitamin C improved the ability of the adrenals to adapt to surgical stress and normalized cortisol levels. Other studies show that vitamin C reduces anxiety, minimizes stress, and improves mood. RECIPE TIPS: Halve red peppers, remove seeds, stuff with sautéed collards, leeks, and cooked quinoa, and roast until tender; combine

chopped red peppers with zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and oregano, and simmer until tender; simmer puréed roasted red peppers with pasta sauce, Kalamata olives, capers, basil, and red pepper flakes for a puttanesca sauce. Collard greens. They’re high in magnesium, a mineral that helps relieve stress, as well as folate, a B vitamin that’s essential for the production of neurotransmitters that mitigate anxiety. Spinach, chard, turnip greens, and kale are also excellent sources of magnesium and folate. RECIPE TIPS: Simmer chopped collard leaves, red peppers, ginger, and curry powder in coconut milk; sauté shredded collard leaves in olive oil with chopped black olives, garlic, and cumin; steam whole collard leaves until tender, then use as a wrap for cooked chickpeas and quinoa. The Healthy Edge

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expert’s corner

By Emily Kane, ND, LAc

feel better with forest bathing

Getting back to nature can have a profound and therapeutic effect on your immune health, stress levels, and much more.


What’s the deal with “forest bathing?” Isn’t this just a walk in the woods?


—Joshua H., Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Yes, but it’s more than that. The purpose of forest bathing is simply to “be” in the presence of the trees without any goal other than to allow the natural calming and healing potential of the forest to seep into our skin, eyes, and lungs. Often people walking through cities, or even on trails, wear earbuds or engage in other distractions. These aren’t bad activities, but when we really relax our brain chatter into the vast, non-hectic vibe of a forest, it can help us feel calmer and less stressed. Amazingly, trees emit not only oxygen, but a category of germ- and pest-repellents called phytoncides, which have been shown to promote health in humans. Phytoncides are pleasant-smelling oils with innate antimicrobial properties. They not only render the air fresher, but inhaling these plant chemicals has been shown to improve immune system function. Unfortunately, according to a 2001 EPA study, average Americans spend 87 percent of their time inside a building and 6 percent of their time inside a vehicle. Awareness of protecting, and interacting with, our great outdoors has increased since then, so I’m hopeful those rather dismal numbers have improved, because, physiologically and emotionally, our optimal health and well-being depend on staying connected with our planet home.

Deep Roots In the 1980s, forest therapy (Shinrin-yoku) became part of a national health care program in Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries spent 14

many years, and an impressive amount of money, on conducting field experiments, measuring the health parameters of forest bathers compared to controls walking through a city. One of the larger studies measured the subjects’ salivary cortisol (which increases with stress), blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate during a day in the city and compared the data with the same biometrics taken during a day which included a 30-minute forest visit. The study concluded, “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments.” Further, forest bathing, even after only 30 minutes, proved to be a psychological balm. The subjects showed reduced hostility and depression scores, coupled with increased liveliness, after exposure to trees. Thus, the researchers concluded that “forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.” After the initial findings were published, more and expanded studies were conducted in Korea, Finland, and the U.S., showing similar reductions in tension and anxiety in the forest bathers. These were not just subjective benefits reported by participants; blood and urine samples taken before and after forest bathing showed a significant increase, up to 50 percent, in natural killer cells (a type of immune-boosting white blood cell that fights cancer and other diseases).

Branching Out Taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of a forest can potentially arouse feelings of awe similar to viewing our planet from space, or having a personal breakthrough about how all life is connected, precious, and fleeting. Spending time amidst trees will absolutely improve your health, memory, attitude, and energy. More and more humans on the planet are urban dwellers, living in spaces that do not readily allow for walking in the woods. Many of us no longer live anywhere near where the food we eat was grown. There is no going back—time and momentum move forward. But we can preserve a balanced relationship with our forests, for our own health, and the health of everyone. Find a stand of trees near where you live or work and consciously develop your relationship with these majestic plants. Both you and the trees will benefit!

Forest Bathing Resources To learn more about forest bathing and get information on guided tours and immersion programs, check out these websites: * natureandforesttherapy.org * shinrin-yoku.org/ * forestbathingcentral.com/

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A Primer on Vitamin D BY SALLY KARLOVITZ, CN

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT OVER 40 PERCENT of the U.S. population may be deficient in vitamin D, a nutrient whose benefits seem to keep growing. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts like a steroid hormone in the body. It comes in two forms in the diet, D2 and D3. Food sources of vitamin D include dairy milk, fortified cereals, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 10 mcg (400 IU) for infants under 12 months, 15 mcg (600 IU for teens and adults), and 20 mcg (800 IU) for adults over 70 years old. But research suggests that most Americans don’t consume these levels in their diets.

properly reacting to and fighting off serious infections in the body. In a 2020 Instagram Live interview with Jennifer Garner, Dr Anthony Fauci was asked about immune-boosting supplements. His response included information on vitamin D about which he said, “If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. So I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself, taking vitamin D supplements.” If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels checked, talk to your doctor about getting it done. It’s the best place to start to determine how much vitamin D you should be taking each day.

Vitamin D can also be produced in skin when exposed to sunlight. Studies in this country have shown that approximately 20 percent of U.S. children under 12 years of age have a vitamin D deficiency. This rate rises to 50 percent in African American children. This could be due to more video games and indoor activities, meaning children may not be getting enough sunlight. Vitamin D is best known for its function in bone health where it helps promote calcium absorption and improves bone health. People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. A large women’s health study showed that supplements of calcium and vitamin D reduced the rate of hip fracture by almost 40 percent. But research demonstrates vitamin D is used other ways in the body as well.

RESPIRATORY HEALTH Vitamin D may play a role in respiratory health. One study found that asthmatics with low vitamin D levels had increased odds of suffering asthma attacks as compared to those with normal vitamin D levels. Another study found that adding supplemental vitamin D improved breathing capacity in asthmatics who use an inhaler.

MENTAL HEALTH Low vitamin D levels have been linked to higher risk of dementia. Studies have shown that increased vitamin D levels, through sun exposure or supplementation, improve cognitive function in the elderly. Recent research also found a link between seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and a lack of vitamin D from low exposure to sunlight.



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Vitamin D3 Vitamin D3 supports calcium and bone metabolism, as well as immune function.* Each softgel supplies 25 mcg (1,000 IU) vitamin D3 in extra virgin olive oil.

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Keys to Better Zzzzs BY MARY ANN O’DELL, MS, RDN

GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP IS IMPORTANT for physical and mental recovery each day. Lack of good quality sleep can result in fatigue, mood swings, stress, and increased risk for illness or chronic disease. Here are 5 keys to help you get better sleep.

NAP SMART If you have had trouble sleeping or have a change in work shift, a short nap during the day may help. Research suggests short naps may help reduce fatigue and increase productivity at work. But keep the nap short—just 10–20 minutes—and take it early in the afternoon to avoid affecting nighttime rest.

MANAGE STRESS Stress is a common contributor to insomnia and sleep disturbance. Manage stress naturally by supporting nerve health with B vitamins. Sip on herbal tea, such as passionflower or chamomile, to keep nerves calm. Try yoga or deep breathing exercises in the evening to calm the body and mind.

CREATE COMFORT Turn off your devices and take a nice soak in a hot mineral salt bath to relax your body and soothe any aches and pains. A deficiency of magnesium is associated with insomnia and anxiety, so maintaining magnesium status can help improve relaxation and rest. Try adding magnesium at night to enhance muscular relaxation and improve sleep. Make sure your bed and bedroom are comfortable—a cool, dark room helps support sleep.

TRY MELATONIN Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the body that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm, its sleep and wake cycles. Melatonin levels decline significantly after the age of 40, which scientists believe may be responsible for sleep problems that increase with age. Melatonin can be very helpful for those who work night shift and sleep during the day. It is also beneficial for dealing with jet lag.

UTILIZE HERBS Valerian has been shown in studies to help improve the quality of sleep, reduce the length of time it takes to fall asleep, and reduce the number of awakenings throughout the night. Valerian can be used by itself or in conjunction with herbal nervines that nourish and calm the nerves such as hops, passionflower, and skullcap. These act on the body naturally, without the unwanted side effects that are common with prescription and over-the-counter sleep medicines. So with all that’s going on…who’s ready for a nap?

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The Healthy Edge

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Keep your celebration sugar-free and cut down on the carbs this year with festive confections made with xylitol, monk fruit, stevia, and erythritol.



f you’re on a Keto or low-carb diet—or just generally appalled by the sugar content of most holiday treats—there’s a sweet solution: natural, sugar-free substitutes that let you indulge in cookies, pies, and cakes without upsetting blood sugar or blowing your daily carb count through the roof. Here’s a roundup of the four best sugar alternatives, plus recipes for low-carb, grain-free, no-sugar treats that can sweeten your celebration without sacrificing flavor.


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Pumpkin-Pecan Muffins Makes 12 muffins

These muffins make an excellent dessert or holiday breakfast. We used a monk fruit 1:1 sweetener that’s combined with erythritol for a simple sugar swap. For garnish and texture, try adding pecan halves, chopped walnuts, and pepitas on top. 2½ cups almond flour 2 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 tsp. ground ginger ½ tsp. ground cloves ½ tsp. ground nutmeg ½ tsp. salt ½ cup butter at room temperature ¾ cup monk fruit 1:1 sweetener 4 large eggs 1 cup pumpkin puree, unsweetened 2 tsp. vanilla extract ½ cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup muffin pan, or line with paper muffin cups. In medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

2. In standing mixer or large bowl using handheld mixer, beat butter and monk fruit sweetener until creamy and light, scraping down sides of mixing bowl as needed. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in pumpkin purée and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well combined; stir in pecans.

3. Divide muffin mixture among muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes, until puffy and golden, and a tester inserted into muffins comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Remove muffins from tins and serve immediately. Per muffin: 270 cal; 8g prot; 24g total fat (7g sat fat); 10g carb; 80mg chol; 320mg sod; 4g fiber; 2g sugar

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1. Xylitol. This sugar alcohol naturally occurs in small amounts in strawberries, raspberries, and other fruits and vegetables, and is most abundant in birch tree bark. It’s sold as a white crystalline powder that’s similar in appearance and sweetness to white sugar, but has 40 percent fewer calories and a very low glycemic index of 10 (compared to white sugar at 68). Because the body doesn’t metabolize xylitol as a sugar, it has no effect on insulin levels, and some studies show that it can also prevent tooth decay and possibly improve bone and tooth health. It may also control Candida and prevent ear infections. Like other sugar alcohols, xylitol can cause bloating, gas, and flatulence, and may have a laxative effect in large quantities. Start small to let your body get used to it, and limit consumption to 50 grams per day. And while it’s completely safe for humans, xylitol is toxic to dogs, so keep it in a pooch-proof container, and don’t let pets sample your baked treats. How to buy it. Though you can find birch-derived xylitol, which is more expensive, it’s often derived from corn, which can contain GMOs. Look for organic or non-GMO xylitol, and be sure it’s free of fillers or other additives. How to use it. Unlike concentrated sweeteners, xylitol bakes well, adds bulk to recipes, and can be used as a 1:1 substitute for white sugar. To avoid any potential digestive distress, it’s best combined with a concentrated sweetener such as monk fruit or stevia. 2. Erythritol. Like xylitol, erythritol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in grapes, pears, mushrooms, and other fruits and vegetables. Commercially, it’s made by fermenting glucose from corn, and has a clean, neutral flavor and color with a very low glycemic index of 1. Erythritol doesn’t impact blood sugar or insulin levels, and because it’s not metabolized by bacteria in the mouth, it won’t cause tooth decay and may even promote remineralization of teeth. Unlike other sugar alcohols, erythritol


Chocolate-Peppermint Mousse with Mint Whipped Cream Serves 4

For a vegan alternative, swap full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream. MOUSSE 3 large, very ripe avocados, halved and pitted ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¾ cup heavy cream or coconut milk 2 tsp. peppermint extract ⅛ tsp. salt ¼–½ tsp. monk fruit extract or stevia extract, or to taste WHIPPED CREAM ½ cup heavy whipping cream or 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight Monk fruit extract or stevia extract to taste 2 Tbs. very finely minced fresh mint leaves or 1 tsp. peppermint extract 1. Scoop flesh out of avocado skins into food processor. Add cocoa powder, cream or coconut milk, peppermint extract, and salt. Purée until smooth and creamy. 2. Add monk fruit or stevia extract, and purée again to combine. Taste, and adjust sweetener and mint extract, if desired. Divide mousse among four parfait glasses or small dessert bowls. Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour. 3. While mousse is chilling, using a standing mixer or a hand mixer, whip heavy cream on medium-high speed until peaks form, 3–4 minutes. (If using coconut milk, open chilled can of coconut milk, and scoop hardened cream from the top; reserve remaining coconut milk for another use.) Sweeten to taste with monk fruit or stevia extract. Gently stir in minced fresh mint leaves or peppermint extract. 4. Remove chilled mousse from refrigerator and top each serving dish with whipped cream; serve immediately. Per serving: 520 cal; 7g prot; 51g total fat (21g sat fat); 21g carb; 85mg chol; 105mg sod; 14g fiber; 3g sugar

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Coconut Lemon Bars Makes 16 bars

These, cool, zesty lemon bars are sweetened with xylitol, which works well with citrus and is an easy 1-to-1 swap for sugar. If you’re concerned about digestive issues, use erythritol, or swap ¼ tsp. monk fruit or stevia for the ¼ cup of xylitol in the crust to lessen the impact. For a coconut-free variation, substitute almond flour for coconut flour in the filling, and swap coconut flakes with powdered erythritol sprinkled on top of the bars after baking. 3 1 ¾ ½ ⅓ ¼ 6 ½ ½

large lemons cup almond flour cup xylitol or erythritol, divided tsp. salt cup melted butter cup softened butter large eggs cup coconut flour cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8x8 glass baking dish with two sheets parchment paper, crisscrossing parchment to line bottom and both sides, and allowing edges to overhang by ½ inch. Zest and juice lemons, and set aside. 2. In medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, ¼ cup of xylitol or erythritol, and salt. Stir in melted butter and 2 Tbs. lemon zest, mixing until well combined. Press crust along bottom of prepared baking dish. 3. In standing mixer or a medium bowl using hand mixer, beat remaining xylitol and softened butter until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, and coconut flour, and beat until smooth. 4. Pour filling into crust and spread evenly, smoothing top. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle tops of bars with coconut, and bake 5–10 minutes more, until filling is set and coconut is lightly toasted. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Refrigerate 1–2 hours, until chilled. 5. Using parchment overhang, lift bars from pan and place on flat surface. Cut into 16 bars, and serve immediately. Per serving: 190 cal; 5g prot; 14g total fat (7g sat fat); 14g carb; 90mg chol; 160mg sod; 3g fiber; 1g sugar

Monk fruit is heatstable and can be used in any kind of cooking and baking. is mostly absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the colon, and appears to resist fermentation by gut bacteria. So it’s less likely to cause digestive distress. How to buy it. Because it’s made with corn, look for non-GMO or organic erythritol in powdered form. Some products contain added ingredients, such as oligosaccharides or stevia, to increase its sweetness; 100 percent erythritol products are also available. How to use it. Erythritol can be used in baking or any kind of cooking. In general, use 1⅓ cups of erythritol for each cup of sugar. To improve flavor and minimize any possibility of digestive distress, combine it with other sweeteners such as monk fruit or stevia.

3. Stevia.

Derived from a plant native to South America, stevia contain compounds called steviosides and rebaudiosides that are about 300 times sweeter than sugar. It’s calorie-free, and has no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels. Though some early research suggested that stevia could contribute to infertility and cancer, these studies have been debunked, and new studies suggest that compounds in stevia may actually protect against some types of cancer. Other studies show that stevia lowers insulin and glucose levels and may normalize cholesterol. How to buy it. Though the raw, powdered herb is the most natural form, it has a bitter taste and slightly licorice flavor, and isn’t good for baking. Concentrated forms of stevia like Reb-A have a cleaner flavor and less aftertaste. Some stevia products contain bulking ingredients,

including erythritol, dextrose, or maltodextrin, to make them easier to use. Make sure the form you buy is organic or non-GMO. How to use it. While stevia is heat stable and is ideal in puddings, ice cream, or smoothies, it’s harder to use in baking because it lacks bulk. Combine it with erythritol or xylitol to add bulk, and use a ratio of about ½ teaspoon stevia for 1 cup of sugar.

4. Monk fruit. This super-natural

sweetener from the lo han guo plant, is made by crushing the fruit to extract its intensely sweet compounds called mogrosides. Monk fruit has a clean, sweet flavor, without the bitter aftertaste of stevia. But like stevia, it’s calorie-free and doesn’t impact blood sugar or insulin. Lo han guo has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, and some studies suggest that the plant has antibacterial activities and can fight oral bacteria and Candida. How to buy it. You’ll find monk fruit in a wide variety of forms, from pure concentrates to powders that combine monk fruit with erythritol, dextrose, or maltodextrin for bulk. If you’re buying monk fruit mixed with other ingredients, look for organic or non-GMO versions. How to use it. Monk fruit is heat stable and can be used in any kind of cooking and baking. Like stevia, it lacks bulk, so it’s best combined with erythritol or xylitol. Or use a powdered form that has added bulking agents. The amount you’ll use in recipes varies depending on what product you’re using; for pure monk fruit extracts, use 1 teaspoon to replace a cup of sugar. The Healthy Edge

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Fever, body aches, sore throats, and coughs that last till spring—it’s that time of year again. But you don’t have to be miserable. Herbs, supplements, foods, and lifestyle practices can help you kick that sickness to the curb. Just try these sciencebased remedies that really work. 22


Suck on some zinc. It can

significantly reduce the duration of colds and severity of symptoms. Taken within 24 hours after symptoms start, zinc lozenges can shorten the length of colds by up to three days and cut the duration of some symptoms, such as stuff y nose, by as much as 58 percent. While lozenges have the best immediate effect, zinc supplements may also support immunity and lower your risk of getting sick. To stop a cold in its tracks, take zinc lozenges as soon as symptoms appear. For longer-term protection, take zinc capsules or tablets. But avoid zinc nasal sprays and swabs—they’ve been linked with an irreversible loss of the sense of smell.


Get more sunshine. When skin

is exposed to sunlight, the body produces vitamin D, critical for healthy immune function. In cold, cloudy winter months, when you’re not out as much, you may need supplements, since low levels of vitamin D can make you more susceptible to colds and flu. Epidemiologic studies show that high vitamin D levels are linked with a reduced risk of upper respiratory tract infections, and supplementing with vitamin D significantly lowers risk of infection. In one study, vitamin D cut the risk of respiratory infection in half, especially in people who were deficient. Look for vitamin D3 in gel caps or liquids for best absorption.

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Load up on echinacea. It’s

rich in compounds that support the immune system by activating the body’s defense systems. Some studies show that echinacea can inhibit the flu virus, viral growth, and the secretion of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body. Studies on echinacea’s effects on colds are mixed, but some research suggests that it can inactivate certain respiratory bacteria, reverse inflammatory effects caused by these bacteria, and control symptoms. In some cases, echinacea may reduce the likelihood of getting a cold by 10–20 percent. Choose standardized echinacea tinctures for maximum absorption, or try echinacea capsules.


Don’t forget “Indian echinacea.” Andrographis, also

called “Indian echinacea,” supports immune function and can both prevent sickness and significantly improve symptoms. Studies show that andrographis is twice as effective as a placebo at reducing respiratory tract infection symptoms (cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever), and can lessen the duration of illness. One review of 33 studies found that andrographis was significantly better than other herbal therapies at reducing symptoms of respiratory tract infections. Most studies used a product that combines andrographis with Siberian ginseng. Try andrographis capsules or tablets, or look for it in combination respiratory health formulas.


Sauté some shiitakes. They’re

rich in compounds called beta glucans that support immune function and protect against colds and flu. Add broccoli or kale—like other cruciferous vegetables, they support immune function—and carrots or other orange vegetables that can protect against infection. Include lots of garlic, which activates the body’s natural killer cells and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms. And sprinkle your stir-fry with nutritional yeast, which increases the body’s potential to defend against invading pathogens and can reduce infections by as much as 25 percent. If you don’t love mushrooms, try a supplement. Look for reishi,

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times more prone to colds. If you struggle to snooze, try melatonin, valerian, or kava kava, which have all been shown to improve quality of sleep.

maitake, lion’s mane, or cordyceps, or choose a blend formulated to support immune function.


Boost your berries. Blueberries,

blackberries, strawberries, and other berries are rich in polyphenols that support immune function and may protect against the flu. Elderberry in particular is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that enhance immune cell activity and may block a virus’s ability to spread. Research shows that elderberry both inhibits the flu virus and also reduces symptoms if you do get an infection. In one study of people who had the flu, almost 47 percent of those who took an elderberry extract for three days had a complete resolution of their symptoms. In another study, elderberry extract cut duration of flu symptoms in half. Look for syrups, lozenges, or effervescent tablets, and take as soon symptoms appear.


Rest easy. A good night’s sleep

protects immune function and can reduce your risk of colds and flu. Part of the reason: the body releases chemicals during sleep that help regulate immune response and fight infection. Sleep also lowers stress, which can make you more susceptible to sickness. Quality is as important as quantity: one study found that people who slept less than seven hours a night were almost three times more likely to get a cold, and those who slept poorly were more than five


Get back to your roots. In herbal medicine, it’s thought that the healing compounds of many plants are more concentrated in the roots. Three to try: Ginseng has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine for its immune-supportive effects. It helps protect against upper respiratory infections and some studies show that taking ginseng daily for 3–4 months during flu season can significantly decrease the risk of developing a cold or flu and reduce the number of colds in a season. If you do get an infection, ginseng can reduce symptom severity, and duration. Choose standardized ginseng in tinctures or capsules, ideally organic, and look for a formula that’s been tested for purity. Pelargonium, from a plant known as African geranium, has antiviral and antibacterial activities, and is effective in treating a number of respiratory conditions, including bronchitis, sinusitis, and the common cold. Other studies show pelargonium extract may inhibit infection by, and prevent the replication of, respiratory viruses. It’s sold under the brand name


Host Defense MycoSheild Immune Support Spray

Quantum Health TheraZinc Lozenges

Turmeric, traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and support immune function. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, and can protect against viruses that cause a variety of respiratory illnesses. In some studies, curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, prevented replication of some strains of the flu virus by 90 percent. It’s also effective in preventing bronchitis. Look for standardized forms in capsules or tinctures.


Supercharge your smoothie.

Make your breakfast count with an immune-boosting smoothie: start with plain yogurt, rich in probiotics that support immune function, improve the activity of natural killer cells, and prevent infection. Research shows that probiotics are effective for fighting the common cold and flu-like respiratory infections, and can reduce the number of respiratory tract infections. Add some kiwis, peaches, or papaya—all are high in immune-enhancing vitamin C to protect against pathogens and reduce the frequency of colds. Sweeten your smoothie with Manuka honey, a special variety that comes from Australia and New Zealand. Studies show that it has antibacterial and immune-supportive properties, and may protect against the flu virus.



Terry Naturally Andrographis EP80 Extra Strength

Umcka or as umckaloabo, in syrups, liquids, drink mixes, and tablets.

Irwin Naturals Immuno-Shield with Elderberry.

Nature’s Way Umcka Cold+Flu

Take a hike. Exercise

enhances immune function and can help your body fight off bad bugs. A brisk walk or hike is ideal; in one study, regular moderate exercise reduced respiratory infections by a third, but strenuous exercise increased susceptibility. And hike with a friend—social interactions reduce stress and improve immune response. Start exercising before cold and flu season to bolster your body’s defenses. If you have a bug, take it easy. Gentle movement with a common cold can speed healing, but if you have a fever, chills, body aches, or chest congestion, rest until you’re better.

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Superfood Mushroom Mycelium Syrup

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Season of Celebration BY MARY ANN O’DELL, MS, RDN

’TIS THE SEASON FOR GIFT GIVING, celebrations, and food! From office parties to family gatherings, holiday feasts to New Year’s Eve, people pack a lot of celebration into this holiday season. And while gatherings may be smaller this year, celebrations will likely continue. With all of these gettogethers, it’s hard not to overindulge. People tend to eat and drink more around the holidays, then regret it afterwards. But you can take steps to avoid overindulgence and still enjoy all that each celebration has to offer. The number one rule for avoiding overindulgence? Don’t eat or drink in excess. Sounds simple…but for those who refuse this good advice, there are steps you can take to plan ahead and reduce the after-effects of overindulgence.


N-Acetyl Cysteine 600 mg Promotes heart, immune, and liver health.* Used by the body to make the antioxidant glutathione.* Helps protect the body against toxins.*


1. DRINK UP…THE WATER. If you plan on participating in holiday parties, drink plenty of water during the day. If you drink alcohol at a gathering, alternate with water. Staying hydrated is a critical step for alleviating the negative effects of too much alcohol.

2. STOCK THE “BEFORE & AFTER” KIT NOW. If you know you will be at parties with alcohol, consider a natural approach to protect your liver. Over-consumption of alcohol causes dehydration and damages the liver, among other things. In addition to drinking plenty of water before, during and after the party, take N-acetyl-cysteine, which can help protect the liver and reduce the toxic effects of occasional alcohol consumption. A B-complex before and after is also a good idea, since excessive alcohol intake can deplete the body of water-soluble B vitamins.

3. EAT LIGHT & RIGHT. Those tasty little appetizers await you at the party! Plan ahead by eating light fruit, vegetable, and fiber-rich meals in the morning and afternoon. Consider taking a white kidney bean extract before you go. White kidney bean extract can help neutralize the negative effects of carbohydrates by inhibiting a portion of the body’s amylase enzyme, decreasing the digestion of starch-carbohydrate calories, including those from breads and sweets. At the party, enjoy smaller portions of high-fat, high-calorie foods, but fill your plate with lots of crudité vegetables and fruits…and enjoy!

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4. PLAN FOR A POST-HOLIDAY DETOX. Makes plans now to start the new year “clean.” • Set aside time for a cleanse. It can be for as little as one day or as long as 3 weeks. You should not need to take time off from normal daily work or activity, but it is important to eat fresh unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and to drink plenty of pure water. For exercise, choose lower impact exercises and stretching, such as yoga or walking. • Increase fiber intake. Psyllium husks, flaxseeds, and fruit pectins are excellent sources of natural plant fibers that support the overall health of the intestinal tract. Fibers bind to toxins and help them move out of the waste stream. As stated above, be sure to drink plenty of water, especially when increasing fiber intake.

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• Use detox and support herbs. Numerous herbs play an important role in detoxification. Milk thistle and dandelion help cleanse and support the liver. Dandelion and red clover support cleansing of the blood, and guggul supports fat and cholesterol metabolism in the body.

Psyllium Husk

• Replenish after a cleanse. Fortify the intestinal tract with probiotics. Kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and other fermented foods are great ways to build up probiotic supplies in the body. Probiotic supplements are also concentrated ways to replenish these beneficial bacteria.

Soluble fiber from foods such as psyllium seed husks, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.*

Supports regularity.* Excellent source of soluble fiber.*

The Healthy Edge

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pure beauty

By Sherrie Strausfogel

oils and serums for hair repair Whether you’re trying to repair damage from coloring your hair at home, looking to mend parched ends, or just want to de-frizz from summer mugginess, there’s an oil or serum for you.


air oils are treatments that improve the condition of your hair. Their molecules easily absorb into the hair and scalp, moisturizing with essential fatty acids that help prevent split ends and breakage. If your hair is damaged or very dry, coat your hair with oil from scalp to ends, leave on for at least 20 minutes, then wash out. Thicker oil may require two shampoos. You can also use a just few drops on wet or dry hair to smooth, tame dry ends, and add shine. Although most hair serums include oils in their formulas, they are usually lighter and coat the hair rather than sinking into the strands. Serums add ingredients that help smooth, protect against humidity, and enhance shine. They work best when you apply them to wet hair prior to styling. Many serums are formulated to protect hair from sun, pollutants, and heat styling tools. Choose your hair oil or oil-packed serum based on the condition and texture of your hair:

Hydrate and balance a dry scalp with Badger Jojoba Herbal Hair Oil. Jojoba Oil conditions hair and scalp and balances oil production. Menthol crystals and peppermint essential oil stimulate hair follicles while soothing scalp with a cooling, tingly sensation Rosemary and tea tree are powerful antimicrobial oils and help to deeply cleanse hair follicles.

Tip for Blonds Look for oils that are clear in color so that they don’t yellow your hair.

* Avocado and moringa oils are especially light and ideal for fine hair that can

lose volume. Apply them sparingly, focusing on the ends up to the middle portion of your hair, avoiding the scalp so as not to weigh hair down or make it look oily.

* Argan oil smooths, removes frizz and flyaways, and adds shine to thick, curly, or extra dry hair.

* Black castor oil increases blood flow to the scalp to promote faster hair growth and thicker strands.

* Coconut oil is creamy and replenishes moisture while also boosting shine and adding definition to curly hair.

* Marula oil has a light texture, but it is packed with nourishing vitamins, anti-aging amino acids, and moisturizing fatty acids to restore hair that has been colored or chemically treated.

* Jojoba and macadamia oils add hydration and protect hair strands, so they are ideal for all hair types


Get back to the roots of healthy hair with Okay 100% Pure Black Haitian Castor Oil. This rich, thick oil helps soothe the scalp, strengthen hair, stimulate hair follicles, and increase hair growth. It also helps to balance oily hair. It’s the perfect treatment for all hair types.

Heal your hair with Giovanni 2Chic Repairing Super Potion Hair Oil Serum. Damaged or over-processed hair will soak up this finishing serum that strengthens and tames hair with blackberry extract and coconut oil. Say goodbye to frizz and flyaways and hello to shine. Argan and macadamia oils, shea butter, and keratin help prevent breakage and split ends.

Intensify hair’s shine and softness with Life-Flo Pure Argan Oil. Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it penetrates to moisturize, soften, and smooth without leaving an oily residue. Rub oil between your hands and smooth it through your hair to minimize flyaways and treat split ends.

Add moisture, smoothness, and control with Andalou Naturals Exotic Marula Oil Deep Conditioning Hair Mask. With fruit stem cells and BioActive 8 Berry Complex to provide powerful antioxidant action, and marula oil, vegetable glycerin, and cocoa butter to provide rich moisturization, this gentle-yet-deep-conditioning mask nourishes hair as it adds definition and shine.

December 2020

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clean eating

a delicious way to use collagen This youth-boosting ingredient isn’t just for bone broth—it even makes a great dessert!

Makes 12 Brownies Recipe adapted with permission from Youtheory (youtheory.com) 12 ripe avocados (about 6 oz. each), peeled, pitted, and chopped ½ cup maple syrup ¼ cup coconut sugar 2 large eggs ½ cup raw cacao powder 3 scoops collagen powder ½ cup almond flour ½ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. fine sea salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. instant coffee, optional ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips Crushed freeze-dried raspberries, cacao nibs, toasted coconut, optional

Frosting: ½ cup coconut butter 2 Tbs. full-fat coconut milk 2 Tbs. maple syrup 1 tsp. vanilla extract Pinch sea salt

r’s p edito ick

2. Transfer batter to baking pan. Bake until just set in middle, 25–30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. To make frosting: In 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease Yo high-speed blender or food er uth 8-inch square baking pan. In food d w eor y Collagen Po processor, combine frosting processor, combine avocados, maple ingredients. Blend until smooth. syrup, and coconut sugar, and blend until Taste and add more maple syrup, if needed. smooth. Add eggs, and pulse to blend. Add cacao, collagen powder, almond flour, 4. When brownies are thoroughly chilled, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla, spread frosting on top. Sprinkle with a and instant coffee (if using). Blend until topping, if desired, then cut into 12 bars and well combined and smooth. Add chocolate serve. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. chips, and swirl in with a spatula. PER BROWNIE: 260 cal; 4g prot; 17g total fat (7g sat fat); 26g carb; 30mg chol; 105mg sod; 4g fiber; 16g sugar


Beauty-Boosting Brownies with Vanilla Frosting

Did You Know? Collagen powder can

be added to virtually any recipe, as it’s not destroyed by heat.


December 2020

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Mushroom Mycelium Capsules

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Lion’s Mane supports not just cognitive function and immune response, but also mood and sleep.* In human clinical trials, Lion’s Mane supported a balanced mood, emotional stability, and increased the experience of restful sleep.*

Find Your Mushroom™ at your local health food store and online at HostDefense.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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natural gourmet

By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, and Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC

holiday mushroom appetizer The health-promoting prowess of walnuts, mushrooms, rosemary, and sage combine to make these veggie bites a welcome guest at holiday festivities.


his is one of those vegetarian dishes that I love to see on the menu when traveling. You just can’t go wrong with nuts and cheese! In this case, the nuts and cheese are, respectively, walnuts and goat cheese, and I love them both. Goat cheese tastes creamy and fresh, and pairs exquisitely well with crunchy nuts. Season the whole thing with fresh herbs and stuff it into mushrooms, and you’ve got a dish that will never disappoint. The spices here are two of the four mentioned in one of the most recognizable song lyrics in the world—parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Both rosemary and sage are incredibly rich sources of antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories. And let’s not forget shallots. A member of the allium genus that includes onions, leeks and chives, shallots contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including quercetin, which is also found in apples, onions, and dietary supplements. Of course, the holidays are all about flavor, too. And guests will love the richness of this vegetarian-friendly appetizer which goes well with almost any holiday meal. Enjoy!.

WALNUT AND GOAT CHEESE STUFFED MUSHROOMS Makes 15 stuffed mushrooms For an attractive holiday serving idea, arrange a single layer of fresh cranberries on a platter and top with stuffed mushrooms and other appetizers. 15 large whole cremini mushrooms (about 1 lb.) 1 large shallot, finely chopped Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 4 oz. chèvre (fresh goat cheese) Scant ¼ cup toasted whole walnuts, finely chopped 2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary 1 Tbs. lemon or orange zest, optional 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. 2.Brush mushrooms clean, twist off their stems, and reserve. Spray mushroom caps lightly with olive oil, and arrange stem-sideup in prepared baking pan. Roast 15 minutes. 3. While mushrooms are roasting, finely chop reserved mushroom stems. Heat about 1 Tbs. olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add

FEATURED INGREDIENT: NOTES FROM THE CLEAN FOOD COACH Cremini mushrooms are simply young portobello mushrooms, sometimes called baby bellas. They’re pale brown and firm, and the caps on the freshest ones will cover the gills. If you can’t find cremini mushrooms, you can substitute large white button mushrooms, but they won’t be quite as flavorful. 32

chopped stems and shallot. Season lightly with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sauté 3–5 minutes, until mushrooms have released their liquids and reduced in size. Set aside to cool slightly. 4. In mixing bowl, combine chèvre, walnuts, thyme, rosemary, and zest, if using. Add cooled stem and shallot mixture, and gently combine all ingredients. When mushrooms have softened in oven, remove and carefully drain any excess liquid. 5. Form generous balls out of goat cheese mixture, and press into the center of each mushroom cap, filling completely and mounding high. Return to oven, 12 minutes or until goat cheese has browned lightly on the top. Arrange on a decorative platter to serve. PER MUSHROOM: 45 cal; 3g prot; 3g total fat (1g sat fat); 3g carb; 5mg chol; 35mg sod; 1g fiber; 1g sugar


Like fish, walnuts are a brain food, largely because they contain more omega-3 fats than any other nut. It’s not the same type of omega-3 found in fish, but like its fish-based relatives, it’s anti-inflammatory, making it good for both brain and heart. Walnuts contain about 2.5 grams of omega-3 per 1 oz. serving, which isn’t bad. They also contain a similar amount (about 2.5 grams per serving) of monounsaturated fat, which is the same fat found in olive oil. Please note that all walnuts are not the same. The two most common varieties you’re likely to run into are English walnuts and black walnuts. Black walnuts contain much more monounsaturated fat than their English cousins, but fewer omega-3s. On the other hand, black dried walnuts have a little more protein (6.7 grams) per 1-oz. serving than the English variety (4.3 grams). Both types of walnuts have a nice amount of fiber— just under 2 grams per serving—and roughly the same number of calories.

December 2020

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Uses for Paragon Plus Virgin Coconut Oil


1. Replace butter or shortening in recipes 2. Boost brain function* 3. Immune support* 4. Hair & scalp treatment 5. Face & body moisturizer


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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This inf ormation is presented as general inf ormation and is not meant to replace medical advice. B ecause persons and circumstances can vary, self treatment may not be right f or you. C onsult a q ualif ied health care practitioner f or advice pertaining to any particular person or case or bef ore beginning any new ex ercise, diet, or supplementation program. U se products only per label direction.

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Profile for HFAI

Healthy Edge Magazine Chamberlin's DEC2020