Fall asleep 38% faster!

Not en­joy­ing your day to the fullest be­cause of too lit­tle sleep, too much stress, joint pain, hay fever or back­aches? Here’s how to start feel­ing your best . . . so you can fill ev­ery day with hap­pi­ness!

Woman's World - - Start Your Week With A -

1 KO joint pain with mus­sels!

If creaky joints are stand­ing be­tween you and your fa­vorite ac­tiv­i­ties, take 500 mg. to 1,200 mg. of green-lipped mus­sel ex­tract daily. This rem­edy works so well at re­liev­ing joint pain and im­prov­ing flex­i­bil­ity, it won the top spot in a re­cent re­view of 20 arthri­tis-bust­ing sup­ple­ments in the Bri­tish Jour­nal of Sports Medicine.

✤ It works! Green-lipped mus­sels are rich in nat­u­ral com­pounds that re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and block pro­duc­tion of pain-trig­ger­ing prostaglandins, pro­vid­ing last­ing re­lief. One op­tion: Swan­son Pre­mium Green Lipped Mus­sel, $5.99, Swan­son­vi­ta­mins.com.

And eat al­monds! Al­monds pack lots of magnesium, a min­eral that eases arthri­tis pain and stiff­ness by help­ing to spur cre­ation of more cush­ion­ing car­ti­lage be­tween joints, say Chi­nese sci­en­tists. Other food sources of magnesium in­clude spinach, for­ti­fied ce­real and avo­cado.

2 Erase back­aches with an­tiox­i­dants!

If on­go­ing back pain is keep­ing you cooped up, start tak­ing 600 mg. of al­pha lipoic acid and 140 IU of su­per­ox­ide dis­mu­tase daily. Back­pain pa­tients who fol­lowed this ad­vice felt less pain within 20 days— and nearly all ex­pe­ri­enced so much re­lief within 60 days, they stopped us­ing painkillers! ✤ It works! This an­tiox­i­dant duo ups blood flow to nerves, re­pairs cell dam­age, tames in­flam­ma­tion and im­proves nerve con­nec­tions. Op­tions: Swan­son Ul­tra Al­pha Lipoic Acid, $8.99 per 60 cap­sules, and Source Nat­u­rals Su­per­ox­ide Dis­mu­tase, $15.05, both at Swan­son­vi­ta­mins.com.

And lean back! Do you al­ways sit up straight? Stop if you’re prone to back­aches! Place a small pil­low be­hind your lum­bar area, then lean back at a slight an­gle when sit­ting. This lifts pres­sure off your back mus­cles and spine, so you’re less prone to pain, re­search shows.

4 Fall asleep 38% faster with white noise!

Miss­ing the long, deep sleep that helps you get more done dur­ing the day? Start lis­ten­ing to white noise in bed! A Har­vard study shows that lis­ten­ing to white noise— a com­bi­na­tion of all the fre­quen­cies of sound—helps you fall asleep 38% faster, mak­ing it as ef­fec­tive as pre­scrip­tion Lunesta (es­zopi­clone) with­out any worry of side ef­fects. Plus, it prods you to spend more time in the deep­est, more rest­ful stages of sleep. ✤ It works! White noise masks sounds that keep you awake while also chang­ing brain wave pat­terns in a way that trig­gers re­lax­ation. Find white noise ma­chines start­ing at $17 on Ama­zon, or down­load the free white noise app at Tm­soft.com.

And eat pot roast! Two stud­ies show that eat­ing zinc-rich foods (such as beef, beans and dark meat poul­try) or sup­ple­ment­ing with 8 mg. of zinc daily im­proves sleep! How? By help­ing to reg­u­late brain chem­i­cals that spur high-qual­ity sleep.

3 Side­step stress with oat­meal!

Want to start each day re­laxed and ready to take on the world? Break­fast on a bowl of whole-grain rolled oats, such as Quaker Oats Old-fash­ioned Oat­meal, and you’ll feel live­lier, calmer and more op­ti­mistic —no mat­ter what’s go­ing on around you! ✤ It works! Oats are chock-full of pre­bi­otic fiber, which nour­ishes the good mi­crobes in your gut that keep the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol in check, ex­plain Uni­ver­sity of Ox­ford sci­en­tists. It also helps in­crease brain hor­mones that spark pos­i­tiv­ity. Other top sources of pre­bi­otic fiber in­clude as­para­gus, gar­lic, chick­peas, green ba­nanas and onions.

And lis­ten to wa­ter sounds! Lis­ten­ing to the sooth­ing and re­lax­ing sound of wa­ter­falls, trick­ling streams and ocean waves re­duces stress within 10 min­utes, new re­search in the jour­nal Medicine shows. How? By calm­ing your sym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem, which is re­spon­si­ble for your fight-or-flight re­sponse!

5 Ease hay fever with baker’s yeast!

If hay fever keeps you from en­joy­ing out­door fun, like gar­den­ing and bi­cy­cling, take a daily 250-mg. dose of baker’s yeast beta-glu­cans (such as Now Foods Ex­tra-strength Beta-glu­cans, $14.99, iherb.com). Folks with sea­sonal al­ler­gies who did re­ported 59% less nasal stuffi­ness, a 57% drop in eye red­ness and itch­ing and 50% fewer other al­lergy-re­lated symp­toms within a month, re­ports Food Sci­ence & Nu­tri­tion. ✤ It works! This nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring yeast com­pound ac­ti­vates re­cep­tors in the body that help curb the im­mune sys­tem’s over­re­ac­tion to al­ler­gens, in­clud­ing pollen.

And sip gin­ger tea! Drink­ing one to two cups of gin­ger tea daily reins in sneezy, itchy hay fever symp­toms! Thanks goes to 6-gin­gerol; the com­pound that gives gin­ger its zingy fla­vor also pre­vents your im­mune sys­tem from re­spond­ing ag­gres­sively to al­ler­gens, re­ports the Jour­nal of Nu­tri­tional Bio­chem­istry.

Pho­tos: Martin Rueg­ner/mas­ter­file; Ju­niors Bil­darchiv Gmbh/alamy Stock Photo; mon­key­busi­nes­sim­ages/getty Images; Jose Luis Pe­laez Inc./getty Images; Raoul Min­sart/ Mas­ter­file; Tawatchai Prakobkit/ey­eem/getty Images; Axel Leschin­ski/age­fo­to­stock; lisaamc/g

IM­POR­TANT: Con­sult with your doc­tor first be­fore tak­ing any new herb, vi­ta­min or sup­ple­ment.

— Gabrielle Lichter­man

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