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Friday's Top 5 Tips and Trends


Happy Friday! Welcome to our third edition of Top 5 Tips and Trends.

Happy Friday! To celebrate the end of the week, we’ve compiled the best natural health news, tips, and trends for you, for our second edition of Top 5 Tips and Trends.

1. Can probiotics make us happy (or sad)?

More great news about probiotics. I really do think that the research on these friendly bacteria will continue to grow into 2014. This time, researchers found that the bacteria in our guts may affect our mental health, well-being, and behaviour. Strains such as Bifidiobacterium and Lactobacillus may help produce a compound called GABA, which helps put us at ease, with less depression and anxiety.

Get probiotics in your diet by choosing foods such as yogurt, miso, and sauerkraut, and for an extra boost, stock up on supplements at your favourite natural health retailer.

2. Kids’ menus might—finally!—be improving

Chicken strips, grilled cheese, and burgers—oh my! Why do kids end up having to eat unhealthy foods at most restaurants? Well, it seems like the tides are finally turning, according to recent news reports. Fast food restaurants are now beginning to offer healthier choices (such as McDonald’s providing apple slices in lieu of fries), and other restaurants are following suit.

Next time you’re taking the family out to dine, skip the kids’ menu altogether and order a small portion of a “grownup” meal, such as grilled chicken or fish with veggies and rice. No smaller portions offered? Just portion it out when it comes to the table and bring the rest home for leftovers. Let’s let kids eat real food, rather than bland versions and unhealthy options! How else will they get used to eating colourful veggies and healthy whole grains?

3. A natural solution to a sticky situation

If you have kids, you’ll know that all too often, kids + gum = gum stuck in hair. But rather than getting out the scissors, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests covering the gum with peanut butter or vegetable oil. After waiting a few minutes, the gum won’t be as sticky, and should come right out. (You will have to wash your hair afterward, though!)

4. Choose safer makeup for Halloween

Does your little one’s Halloween costume include colourful face paint and makeup? There are a lot of scary chemicals lurking in these products. Choose safer, nontoxic makeup from your natural health retailer, or make your own using these tips.

5. New research on forest bathing

Need more of a reason to get out and enjoy the great outdoors? A new study is confirming that spending time in the forest (engaging in the Japanese art of “forest bathing”) can lower stress and boost our immune systems.

New research in this field is so interesting because of its explanation of why being in the woods boosts our mood and health so much. One theory is that plants emit chemicals called phytoncides. In the forest, these chemicals help protect the trees from decay and insects. But for us, breathing in these chemicals boost our immune cells. Now get out to the forest and breathe, already!



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