Forget the seven wonders of the world – how about the seven natural health wonders, instead.
“Coming from every corner of the globe, these wonders have been used for centuries in other countries to help with everything from soothing bug bites to achieving beautiful, glowing skin,” says Michelle Book, holistic nutritionist for the Canadian Health Food Association.
Many have secret benefits that few of us know about, yet they are one-of-a-kind health and beauty hacks that pack a major punch in small amounts with little effort on your part.
Your kitchen can be your modern day medicine cabinet. “Traditional remedies and medicinal practices have been passed down for generations and now science provides evidence as to why - many provide a safe alternative to treating common ailments,” adds holistic nutritionist Lisa Tsakos, of Nu-Vitality Health & Wellness.
From managing stress and alleviating pain to boosting your brain and skin, check out these powerful health wonders:
- Argan Oil (Africa): “This rare oil boasts potent effects for improving skin elasticity in post-menopausal women and is proven to reduce the appearances of darkly pigmented age spots,” says Book. Slather it on your hair, adds Tsakos. “It’s great as a leave-on conditioner. While your hair is still wet, add a few drops of argan oil to smooth, eliminate frizz and create shine.”
- Turmeric (Asia): “Across the globe, turmeric is used for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to help alleviate joint pain and immune disorders and digestive aid,” says Book, of Chfa.ca. It also combats arterial and brain aging, adds Tsakos, of Nu-vitality.com. Use a half teaspoon daily in your cooking or supplement. Pair it with black pepper extract called piperine – “the pepper potentiates turmeric’s effects by 1,000 times.”
- Tea Tree Oil (Australia): Reach for this essential oil if you have dandruff or acne, says Book, adding that it can also be used to soothe bug bites. “It’s also a powerful disinfectant and can be safely used to clean your house and bathroom, and eliminate mold. Just add a few drops to a cloth to wipe surfaces,” adds Tsakos.
- Chia (South America): A go-to for good health. This seed is a complete protein that contains all nine of our essential amino acids, says Book. “It’s a rich source of omega-3s and fibre, which helps to slow digestion and maintain weight.” Tsakos adds that it’s beneficial for immunity and brain function so sprinkle it on your oatmeal, yogurt, salads, ice creams and in your smoothies.
- Krill Oil (Antarctica): These small crustaceans pack a big health punch, including for your heart and eyes. “Rich in omega-3s, krill oil has been proven to help combat cardiovascular disease, and helps lower blood lipids and blood pressure,” says Book. It’s more potent than fish oil, adds Tsakos. “Great antioxidants: vitamin A, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 which is good for heart, and the lutein supports healthy vision.”
- Panax Ginseng (North America): Take this one to improve memory and immunity, plus if you’re nervous, this will help enhance physical and mental performance under stressful circumstances, says Book.
- Aloe (Africa): Besides soothing burns, wounds and skin irritations, aloe has strong moisturizing and anti-aging properties. Use it to soothe puffy eyes. “Dab a bit around your eyes before bed and wake up looking refreshed,” says Book. “Even apply aloe vera gel to the scalp overnight to treat dandruff.”
Meanwhile, other wonders include eucalyptus as an antiseptic and natural bug repellent, says Book. Hemp is a very nutrient-dense, high protein seed packed with minerals, magnesium, zinc and iron, and fibre. Also keep kelp in mind, adds Tsakos, as it’s one of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet, providing 67 minerals and trace minerals. Ginger is one of the most popular spices around the world and known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. “Although you can take ginger supplements, taking the food is more effective,” she says.
Recipe courtesy Karen Foster, holistic nutritionist at Preventdisease.com
- 1 cup (250 ml) hemp or coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) frozen pineapple or mango chunks
- 1 fresh banana
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) turmeric (can be increased to 1 tsp.)
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) ginger
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) chia seeds
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) maca (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy for breakfast!
SEE ALSO : 4 CLEAN-EATING RECIPES TO RESET YOUR BODY
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